1. Rosh Hashanah
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and literally means "head of the year."
2. High Holy Days (High Holidays)
The Jewish High Holidays are Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Teshuva is the term for repentance. On Rosh Hashanah Jews do teshuva, which means they repent for their sins.
Rosh Hashanah Practices
Kiddish is the prayer over wine or grape juice that is recited on the Jewish Sabbath (Shabbat) and on Jewish holidays.
Machzor is a Jewish prayer book used on certain Jewish holidays (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot).
Mitzvot (plural of mitzvah) are often translated as "good deeds" but the word "mitzvah" literally means "commandment (from God). It is a mitzvah on Rosh Hashanah to hear the shofar.
Selichot are penitential prayers recited in the days leading up to the Jewish High Holidays.
A shofar is a Jewish instrument most often made from a ram's horn, though it can also be made from the horn of a sheep or goat. It makes a trumpet-like sound and is traditionally blown on Rosh HaShanah.
A synagogue is a Jewish house of worship. The Yiddish term for synagogue is shul. In Reform circles, synagogues are sometimes called Temples.
Tashlich means "casting off." In the Rosh Hashanah tashlich ceremony, people symbolically cast their sins into a body of water.
Torah is the text of the Jewish people. It contains five books: Genesis (Breisheet), Exodus (Shemot), Leviticus (Vayikra), Numbers (Ba'midbar) and Deuteronomy (Devarim).
Rosh Hashanah Greetings
1. L'Shanah Tovah Tikatevu
Literal Hebrew to English Translation: "May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for a good year." This traditional Rosh HaShanah greeting wishes others a good year and is often shorted to "Shanah Tovah" (Good Year).
2. Gemar Chatimah Tovah
Literal Hebrew to English Translation: "May your final sealing (in the Book of Life) be good." This greeting is traditionally used between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. It wishes others well in the new year.
3. Yom Tov
Literal Hebrew to English Translation: "Good Day." This phrase is often used in place of the English word "holiday" during the High Holy Days of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. Somes Jews will also use the Yiddish Phrase "Gut Yuntiff," which means "Good Yom Tov" or "Good Holiday."