- CHARITY BENEFIT
The streets of New York are quiet today in observance of Rosh Hashanah or “Head of the Year,” and it is the beginning of the Jewish year. The anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, it is the birthday of mankind, highlighting the special relationship between God and humanity.
Much of the day is spent in synagogue with the central observance of Rosh Hashanah being the sounding of the shofar, the ram’s horn. The shofar is sounded on both days of Rosh Hashanah (unless the first day of the holiday falls on Shabbat). Rosh Hashanah is also the anniversary of man’s first sin and his repentance thereof, and serves as the first of the “Ten Days of Repentance” which will culminate at Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
Additional Rosh Hashanah observances include:
Eating a piece of apple dipped in honey to symbolize our desire for a sweet year, as well as many other special foods. All have special significance and symbolize sweetness, blessings, and abundance.
Before starting the Rosh Hashanah meal, The Kiddush (prayer) is said over a cup of wine or grape juice.
On the second night of Rosh Hashanah, a “new fruit,” i.e., a seasonal fruit which has not been eaten since its season began, should be present on the table when the holiday candles are kindled and during the kiddush. While reciting the Shehecheyanu blessing after the lighting of the candles and after the kiddush, one should have the new fruit in mind.
This fruit is eaten following the kiddush,
Ba-ruch a-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-olam bore pri ha-etz.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the tree.
Immediately following the kiddush (and on the second night, the eating of the new fruit), the ritual of washing for bread happens. When everyone has returned to the table, two challah loaves are presented and the Hamotzie blessing is recited:
Ba-ruch atah A-do-nay, E-lo-hei-nu Melech Ha-Olam, hamotzie le-chem min ha-are-tz.
[Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.]
Cutting the challah, you dip it in honey (some also dip it in salt), and have a bite. Pass around pieces and make sure everyone does the same.
Symbolic Foods include a head of a fish, ram, or other kosher animal. This symbolizes desire to be at the “head of the class” this year.
A pomegranate is eaten, symbolizing a wish to have a year full of mitzvot and good deeds as a pomegranate is filled with luscious seeds.
Throughout the meal, it is customary to also eat foods whose names in the vernacular allude to blessing and prosperity. For example, many have the custom of eating a carotts because in Yiddish the word for carrots, meren, means to multiply.
On Rosh Hashanah it is customary not to eat foods which are sour or tart (the gefilte fish will have to do without the horseradish…). Instead, the focus is on sweet foods, symbolizing our desire to have a sweet year, blessings and abundance. It is also customary not to eat nuts on Rosh Hashanah, as the numerical value of the Hebrew word for nuts (“egoz”) is the same as the Hebrew word for sin (“chet”).
Blessing one another with the words Leshanah tovah tikateiv veteichateim, “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.”
Leave your old shortcomings behind you, thus starting the new year with a clean slate. Go to a lake, river or to the sea and recite the Tashlich prayers, to symbolically cast our sins into the water, “And You shall cast their sins into the depths of the sea.”
Women and girls light candles on each evening of Rosh Hashanah and recite the appropriate blessings.
With Blessings for a New Year from T2C Classic Honey Cake.
1 1/3 cups honey
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup strong black coffee
2 tsps. Baking powder
3 Tbsps. Margarine, softened
1 tsp. Baking soda
4 cups flour 1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325.
Grease and flour a 9 by 13-inch cake pan.
In a large mixer bowl, beat eggs and honey together. Add sugar and mix again. Mix coffee with baking powder, and then add with margarine to the egg mixture. Add baking soda, flour, and cinnamon and beat together well.
Pour into greased cake pan. Bake for 55 minutes to an hour.
USE: 9 X 13-inch cake pan offers 1 cake