Observance of Rosh Hashanah

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Observance of Rosh Hashanah
Kristen Ross

At sunset Friday, Jews across the nation will gather to celebrate one of their most important religious holidays, Rosh Hashanah.

For those of the Jewish faith, Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the year 5767. According to Rabbi Peter Tarlow, the emphasis of the holiday is not on the change of year, but on the change of the person.

"You look from whence you came to where you are going. How can you make yourself a better person? Have you taken inventory of your soul? What's good about your life, what's bad about your life? What can you build on what you can change?"said Tarlow.

The Jewish celebration of the New Year differs somewhat from the American tradition.

The Rabbi stated,"Rosh Hashanah is a time of prayer, reflection, and contemplation. People have family dinners but there is no concept of going out getting drunk. You're not celebrating the New Year, you're celebrating the new you."

The holiday is rich in traditions and culture. Among the traditions are foods made with apples and honey which represent the anticipation of a sweet New Year, and the sounding of the Shofar or a ram's horn.

Rosh Hashanah is the start of ten days of repentance which ends with Yom Kippur, the holiest of Jewish holidays.