The New Year is a fantastic opportunity to sit down with your family. But with two full days of the festival (this year three as Rosh Hashanah leads straight into Shabbat) you may find you’re running out of interesting conversation starters. Here are some Rosh Hashanah trivia points to fascinate your friends and family!
We call Rosh Hashanah festival the Jewish New Year, but did you know that there are actually four new years in the Jewish calendar?
- Rosh Hashanah is the new year for people, animals, and legal contracts
- Tu B’Shvat is the new year for trees
- The first of Elul is the new year for tithing your property
- The first of Nissan is the new year for kings and our calendar’s “reset” button (it’s called the first month in Torah)
We blow 100 different shofar blasts on Rosh Hashanah! There are four different types of shofar blasts, plus the extra-long tekiah gedolah blown at the end of the service.
Did you know that the honey we use isn’t the honey of the Bible? Israel is often called the Land of Milk and Honey – but it’s not talking about the bee-made flower honey we eat. It actually refers to sticky silan – date honey!
We dip slices of apple in honey because their round shape represents the continuity of life. But did you know that they’re also the practical choice? September is already pretty cold in Eastern Europe (where Ashkenazi Jews are from), but apples are plentiful and ripe for picking!
Hallel is a special prayer service praising God that we add to every festival – including rosh chodesh, the start of every new month in the Jewish calendar. Rosh Hashanah is both a holiday and falls on the first of the month… but we don’t say hallel.