This coming weekend my family and I will be celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. I have spent half of my morning battling the crowds at the supermarket and I think that the remainder of this week is not going to see much crafting, but rather a little cooking and some preparation for the festivities.
In general this holiday is celebrated with festive meals, prayers and self-examination. Rather than the rowdy new year celebrations of December 31st, this holiday is a time for reflection. Each person takes the time to review how they behaved in the past year during the ten days prior to Yom Kippur. During this time period there is the traditional blowing of the shofar. The shofar is a horn made from one of the horns of any kosher animal, except a cow. It is meant to remind those that hear the horn they are being examined by God for their behavior in the past year.
Family meals are filled with many symbolic foods during Rosh Hashanah. Foods like apples and honey represent the sweetness of the new year. Fish heads can be served to literally symbolize ‘the head of the new year', though I am a vegetarian so it doesn't happen in our house! Lots of fruit is served up at the meal to help symbolize a fruitful new year, and other foods that are mentioned in the bible are served as well, such as dates and pomegranates.
My Rosh Hashanah cards, featuring many of the special symbols I have mentioned above, made another treasury appearance recently in a beautiful collection called 'A New Year for Peace'. They can be seen on the bottom row, on the left. The traditional Hebrew greeting on Rosh Hashanah is שנה טובה (Shana Tova) literally meaning "A good year". That being said, I would like to wish you all a very happy and peaceful new year. May you be written down in the Book of Life for a good year.