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Rosh Hashanah apple cake

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Everybody loves new beginnings, a chance to make a fresh start. 

For sure, all new things also mean some kind of change, an element of surprise and perhaps even a bit of healthy stress at what the unknown will hold.  But all in all, you are beginning the year with a white artist’s canvas and you can create any design your heart desires, your imagination inspires and your will drives you.

Here’s what you need to know to celebrate Rosh Hashana:

Step 1: When?

Rosh Hashanah this year begins on Monday night September 6 and the two day holiday ends Wednesday night September 8.

Step 2: What?

Rosh Hashana celebrates the head of the Jewish year and is also the day that Adam and Eve were created.

Step 3: No FOMO here!

Hear the blowing of the Shofar on both mornings of the holiday.  Some years, Rosh Hashana begins on Shabbat, when the shofar is not blown.  No need for any Fear-Of-Missing-Out because it is taught that we achieve an even higher level of holiness when Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbat, even more than we achieve when blowing the shofar during a weekday.

Step 4: Light Up Your World

Women and girls have the special honor of lighting holiday candles to bring in the holiday.  

Step 5: You’ve Got the Power!

You’ve got the power to bless.  Both nights, we say two blessings.  The first blessing is for the holiday.  The second is for thanking G-d that we arrived at this point in our lives to celebrate.

Blessing 1: 

Baruch atah Ado-nei Elo-heinu Melech has’olam asher kiddishanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu lihadlik ner shel Shabbat* v’Yom HaZikaron.

Blessing 2: 

Baruch atah Ado-nei Elo-heinu Melech has’olam she’he’chianu v’kiyemanu v’higianu lazman ha’zeh.

*Since Rosh Hashana falls on Shabbat, we acknowledge this by adding these words in the first blessing over the candles.

Step 6: Make That Connection!

Pray your heart out!  Faster than wifi, your prayer connection puts you in direct contact with The One Above.  There’s no connection like it!  Whether you pray in the synagogue or at home, rest assured that your prayers will be received by The World’s CEO.  Although sometimes we don’t recevie the answers right away, (and sometimes not really the answers we want), no one’s prayers end up in the junk folder.

Step 7: Feast Like Royalty

Enjoy a special meal with someone special.  In these challenging times, if one finds themselves without company, just know that although it is a difficult situation, you are never truly alone! 

Step 8: Make it delicious and family-friendly

No need to ask, “What should I cook for Rosh Hashanah this year”.  Check out rebbetzinunplugged.com for the best Rosh Hashanah recipes and menu ideas to celebrate the New Year and all the Jewish Holidays all throughout the year.  Sign in and save your favorite recipes to add something special to your holiday!

Step 9: Know the Symbolic Foods for Rosh Hashanah

Enjoy the traditional Rosh Hashanah foods and the significance behind them, like round challahs, apples dipped in honey and other delicacies.

On Rosh Hashanah, we eat round challahs instead of the long challahs traditionally baked for Shabbat.  We eat round challah in the fervent hope that our lives will be filled with goodness without end. Round Rosh Hashanah challah also symbolizes that we are once again crowning G-d the King of the World.  And we dip juicy apples in honey in our anticipation of a sweet new year.

Step 10: Have an Truly Awesome Holiday!

The days from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur are known as The Days of Awe. Rosh Hashanah has a few names expressing various aspects of the holiday.  It is know as Yom Hazicharon, the Day of Rememberance and Yom HaDin, the Day of Judgement, because during Rosh Hashanah, Jews pray that G-d will judge them favorable and remember them in the Book of Life. 

Now that you’ve read this 2021 quick guide to celebrating Rosh Hashanah, if you want to know more about how you make a memorable Rosh Hashanah gathering, what to make for Rosh Hashanah dinner and what you need to know for one of the most important Jewish holidays of the year, enjoy the other articles, recipes and lessons. Shana Tovah! Wishing you a sweet new year!

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