New Rosh Hashanah Traditions

09062013 rosh hashanah blg ag New Rosh Hashanah Traditions

Rosh Hashanah is a wonderful time to get together with family and friends to celebrate old traditions, but if you’re looking to offer the holiday a fresh twist, check out some of the ideas below to help make your celebration just as sweet as the new year to come:

Throw a Symbolic Potluck

Invite your friends over and ask everyone to bring a dish that symbolizes something they hope for this year. For example, someone might cook entirely from local organic food, with intentions to pay greater attention to their relationships with the people and things closest to them.

Savor the Sweetness

Gather some family or friends and bake the traditional Challah bread. The way challah is braided and shaped has different symbolic meanings, so  each person could try their hand at a different shape. While the challah is baking, you can prepare an impressive display of apples and honey using carved out apples as individual honey pots.

Letters to Ourselves

Prior to your gathering, ask everyone to write a letter to their future selves. The letter should reflect on where they are now and where they want to be in half a year. Collect everyone’s letter as they arrive, and inform them that you will mail them their letters in six months. This is a wonderful way to get everyone to think about the year ahead and all they hope for themselves and others.

However you choose to celebrate, spending time with people you love is the most important part! Please be sure to send them our warmest wishes as you celebrate the High Holy Days.

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L’Shanah Tovah!

09052013 rosh hashana blg ag LShanah Tovah!

Last night at sundown, the Jewish New Year began with Rosh Hashanah. This two-day celebration is a time of reflection and repentance, and marks the beginning of the High Holy Days. It’s a time for sending good wishes for the year and gathering with family and friends.

Fun facts about Rosh Hashanah

How much to do you know about Rosh Hashanah? We’ve compiled some interesting facts about this Jewish New Year celebration:

  •  Rosh Hashanah means “beginning of the year” in Hebrew.
  • A significant ritual is the sounding of the Shofar—a hallowed out ram’s horn that is blown like a trumpet and used as a call to repentance.
  • No work is allowed on Rosh Hashanah.
  • The common salutation is “L’shanah tovah,”  which means “for a good year.”
  • Pomegranates are eaten because the number of seeds believed to be contained in the fruit (613) is the same number of mitzvoth (commandments) associated with the Jewish faith.
  • Fish is a typical dish served and represents knowledge, since its eyes are always open, and it is customary for the head of the fish to be placed in front of the head of household.
  • The most popular food custom is eating apples and honey to express hope for a sweet new year.
  • According to the Talmud, the world was created on the first day of Tishri, the seventh month of the Jewish calendar. So, Rosh Hashanah is considered a birthday of sorts for the world.

Happy New Year from us to you!

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Happy Eid

 08072013 ramadan american greetings Happy Eid

Today marks the end of Ramadan, the holiest and most blessed month of the Muslim calendar.

This evening at sundown, the festival of Eid-al-Fitr begins and men, women and children attend mosque for special prayers. During the celebration, homes are decorated with lights and time is spent with family and friends to enjoy large meals and exchange gifts.

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