The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, starts Sunday night and ends Tuesday evening. It’s a holiday dedicated to spirituality, connection, and the celebration of the New Year. There are specialty foods, customary traditions, and prayer involved. The holiday is a time for reflection, figuring out resolutions, and thinking about what the next year should be.
However, most importantly, it is an opportunity to start fresh with a fresh slate. For Rosh Hashanah 2022, there’s so much to think about.
When thinking about the incoming New Year, I always see it as a time to reconsider my life’s direction. As I stand in the synagogue and pray, I’m always in awe of the opportunity to really hone in on what’s important in life. I make a second set of New Year’s resolutions right before the holiday starts, and I always try to remember to check them before the next year starts. Thankfully, several of those, including a resolution to lose 30 lbs this year, have actually come to be.
Rosh Hashanah is also an important time to discuss tradition. For this reason, I would like to share with you some of the customs we have for this holiday. Additionally, I’d love to share some grants with you that go toward helping Jewish organizations in honor of the New Year.
So, let’s start with what many people will consider the most important topic — food. There are many customary foods for Rosh Hashanah, but my favorites include:
- Challah bread that’s round to represent the year being circular.
- A new fruit that you haven’t eaten during the year: my favorites include the pomegranate and passion fruit.
- Apple dipped in honey so that you have a sweet year.
But there are definitely more traditions that have nothing to do with food. Other traditions include:
- Buying and wearing new clothes for the holiday (big fan of this one).
- Lighting candles for the holiday.
- Hearing the shofar blow 100 times each day.
- Tashlich: When you create a list in your mind of all your possible wrongdoings from the past year. Then, you go to a body of water, pray, and symbolically cast them out. Generally, people will throw bread into the water, which as a kid, was a fun way to feed the ducks.
- Customary greetings on the holiday: this will generally involve saying something like L’Shana Tova, which means Sweet New Year! Other greetings include “L’shanah tovah tikatev v’taihatem” — May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.
Some Grants for Rosh Hashanah 2022
- There is a fellowship available to USA and Canadian high school students to attend an educational summer program in Israel.
- Grants are also available to USA nonprofits for social change initiatives to benefit Jewish women and girls.
- Funding is available to USA and Israel nonprofits for general support and capital projects in the Jewish community.
- There are also grants available to USA, Canada, and International young adults to participate in programs in Israel.
- Finally, there are grants available to USA and Israel nonprofits for urban issues, Jewish life, biomedical research, and education programs.
As this year comes to a close, remember how much there is to be grateful for in your own life. Personally, I’m so thankful to be able to share some thoughts here and to spend the holiday with my family. I wish everyone reading this a happy and healthy, sweet New Year. May this upcoming year (5783) be filled with so much joy, peace, and good health for all of us.