Rosh Hashanah, or the Jewish New Year, is a two-day celebration beginning on the first day of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. This year’s holiday starts on September 6 at sunset and ends on September 8 at nightfall. Rosh Hashanah is an opportunity to reflect on the past year’s events and resolve to improve in the upcoming one.
Like all Jewish High Holidays, Rosh Hashanah incorporates delicious symbolic foods, or simanim. Each one symbolizes a different good fortune that the family prays for in the coming year. To ensure everyone at the table understands this, the foods are given separate attention and blessed briefly before being eaten.
The foods you incorporate into your Rosh Hashanah meal—and how you choose to prepare them—depend on the traditions passed down in your family. Still, it’s helpful to understand the spiritual meaning behind different Rosh Hashanah simanim.
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