Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rosh Hashana in Brief

Seen in Mea Shearim / Jerusalem

Photo: Miriam Woelke


1. Do women have to participate in Selichot ? 

No, but if they want to they are free to do so. 

Photos: Miriam Woelke

2. Is it allowed to say the Selichot in another language besides Hebrew ? 

Yes, because the person praying has to understand the meaning of the words. However, it is said that prayers in Hebrew are more powerful. 

On Erev Rosh Hashana, the Shofar is not blown but only during Shacharit the following morning. 

3. How should a Jew prepare for Rosh Hashana ?

There are different customs many Jews like to follow. Visiting graves of Zaddikim, giving Zedakah, doing Cheshbon Nefesh, buying new clothes, new shoes and getting a new haircut.

From Erev Rosh Hashana to Yom Kippur we dip bread and Challot into honey and don't put on the usual salt. Honey is the sign for a sweet new year and this is what we are asking for.

4. Is it allowed to cry during the prayer service on Rosh Hashana ? 

Definitely and there are Kabbalists claiming that those who cry on Rosh Hashana show their pure hearts and honest Teshuva. It is also said that when a person is starting to cry during the service, the heavenly court is judging him at that very moment.

5. How should we behave on Rosh Hashana ? 

By being joyful and hoping that G - d is judging us favourably. Rosh Hashana is a joyful holiday and we shouldn't sit around depressed . Just the opposite but we still shouldn't forget that it is still a serious holiday.

6. Are we allowed to nap after the Synagogue service ? 

Usually not but there are people who do take an afternoon nap on the second day.

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