This is the earliest Rosh Hashanah has been celebrated since 1899.
The Hebrew date for Rosh Hashanah is 1 Tishrei 5774.
Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the Jewish High Holy Days, or Yamim Noraim (the "Days of Awe"), and is followed 10 days later by Yom Kippur, the "day of atonement." Yom Kippur begins next Friday, Sept. 13.
The Mishnah refers to Rosh Hashanah as the "day of judgment," and it is believed that God opens the Book of Life on this day and begins to decide who shall live and who shall die. The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are viewed as an opportunity for Jews to repent and ensure a good fate.
Jews traditionally gather in synagogues on Rosh Hashanah for extended services that follow the liturgy of a special prayerbook, called a mahzor, that is used during the Days of Awe. At specific times throughout the service, a shofar, or ram's horn, is blown. The mitzvah (commandment) to hear the shofar, a literal and spiritual wake-up call, is special to this time of year.
A common greeting on Rosh Hashanah is shana tovah u'metukah, Hebrew for "a good and sweet new year." Many traditional Rosh Hashanah foods – apples and honey, raisin challah, honey cake and pomegranate – are eaten, in part, for this reason.
Patch wishes L'Shana Tovah to all observing the Jewish high holy days.
If you and your family are celebrating, we'd love to know how you are spending Rosh Hashanah this year. Let us know in the comments.