Valley Jews mark New Year 5778 tonight

Posted September 22, 2017

Rabbi Kaplan tells us the day marks the beginning of 10 days of prayer, leading up to Yom Kippur, a day of remembrance in the Jewish faith.

Rosh Hashanah is typically celebrated in September, although the exact dates move each year, unlike in the Gregorian New Year.

A custom called tashlich, which comes from the word "to cast", typically is performed on Rosh Hashanah at a body of water. Like with many Jewish holidays, it's essentially an excuse to get together with your family and gorge on delicious food.

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Meals include apples dipped in honey to symbolize a sweet new year and at least one brisket dinner. Jewish leaders say it's a time for reflection and repentance. In conservative and orthodox congregations, the new year celebration spans two days. Pomegranates are eaten because, according to rabbinic tradition, they have 613 seeds, corresponding to the number of commandments in the Torah. A hollowed-out ram's horn, known as a shofar, is blown during services, which sounds like this.

Around 100 blasts can often be heard throughout the New Year at the synagogue and it symbolises a call for repentance. On the first and the second day of Rosh Hashanah, local Jews, both Bene Israel and Baghdadi, will be joined by Jewish expatriates at the synagogues. It translates from Hebrew to English as "head of the year".