September 8, 2010, - 12:03 pm

Happy New Year (Rosh HaShanah)

By Debbie Schlussel

Tonight, at sundown, Rosh HaShanah–the Jewish New Year–begins. One of the two most important Jewish holidays (the other is Yom Kippur), it marks the beginning of the Jewish “Ten Days of Repentance,” during which we Jews repent for our sins and pray for a good new year. We believe that on Rosh HaShanah, G-d inscribes our fate for the year, and that at the end of Yom Kippur, that fate is sealed. It is one of the holidays that unites Jews around the world because most Jews–no matter how non-religious–celebrate at least part of this holiday in some way.


On Rosh HaShanah, we traditionally eat apples with honey (and other items with honey) to signify that we seek a new year that is as sweet as that uber-sweet combination. (My favorite apples, BTW, are McIntosh.) The holiday ends at nightfall on Friday Night (at which point the Jewish Sabbath begins), so I will be out of blog commission at sundown tonight until Saturday Night.

During two days of intense prayer at synagogue, we hear the blowing of a ram’s horn (called a “shofar”), which makes several different kinds of sounds we are required to hear.  A little bit more about the Jewish New Year excerpted from my post on this in a previous year. My prayers will be the same as they were then (with a few added extras, now that we are stuck in the Obama era):

On Rosh HaShanah, a two day holiday, we pray in synagogue for a good new year of peace, health, and prosperity for ourselves, our people, and the safety of our country, the USA, which has brought us such great opportunity to live in peace and freedom. We also pray for peace in Israel, America’s most loyal ally and the only democracy in the Middle East, too. Unlike in many of America’s (and the world’s) mosques–where hatred of America, Christians, and Jews is the order of the day in sermons, prayers, the Koran, and the Hadiths–there isn’t a single prayer we have that mentions Islam or Muslims or harm to anyone.

Man Blowing Sounds Out of the Shofar

Given the  continuing escalation in Islamic intolerance and violence, we also hope that, while we are praying and not bothering anyone, our synagogues are secure from all of those “lone,” “mentally disturbed,” “non-terror related” Muslims who attack Jewish institutions, when and where they know there will be a large gathering of Jews. We know that in this country–where after 9/11 the Bush Justice Dept. started a special program devoted only to Justice for Muslims and Arabs–authorities aren’t really paying as much attention to the safety and civil rights of Christians and Jews [as they are to the “real” victims of 9/11 (the “Religion of Peace” brotherhood)].

I will be praying that our government is restored to people in touch with the real world, that the PC forces running the Depts. of Justice and Homeland Security, the FBI and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) will be replaced with common-sense law enforcement officials who care about justice, safety, and security of America, who care about protecting our borders and stopping the malefactors already inside the gate. I’ll be praying for the end to PC movies and TV shows painting Jews and Christians as the villains and extremist Muslims who support terrorism as kind, nice victims of prejudice. Those are just some of the things I’ll be praying for.

On Rosh HaShanah, we also hear hundreds of noises blown from a ram’s horn known as a shofar (can be the horn of certain other animals, too). The shofar is one of the most prominent symbols in Judaism. It’s used like a trumpet, takes a special skill to use, and is the horn that was blown by Israeli Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren when the Western Wall in Jerusalem was liberated from Islamists in 1967. Its sounds symbolize alarm and justice, among many other things.

Oh, and I’ll also be praying that Barack Obama’s incompetence and aims come to an end soon and that Republicans find genuine conservative, compelling, strong leadership to replace and end his disastrous policies. That’s a necessity for America as we know it to survive.  But, so far, I don’t see that the Republicans will be that much different than they were when they were previously in leadership of the House and Senate.

To all of my Jewish readers and friends, Shanah Tovah u’Metukah KeTapuach B’Dvash–May You Have a Good New Year, As Sweet as an Apple with Honey.  Ktivah v’Chatimah Tovah–May You Be Inscribed and Sealed for a Good [Year].

Thanks to all of my readers–Gentile and Jew–who sent me e-mails and i- and e-cards wishing me a Happy New Year. Right Back at Ya!

I hope you have a happy and healthy new year.

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17 Responses

L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu, Debbie.

MOMinMINNESOTA on September 8, 2010 at 12:42 pm

While I don’t always agree with your opinions, I will always defend your right to voice them. From one Jew to another, may you and your family have a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year. L’Shana Tova!

Customs Forever on September 8, 2010 at 1:25 pm

A happy and healthy New Year to you, Debbie, and to all.

BK on September 8, 2010 at 2:30 pm


Not only is this Rosh HaShanah (thanks for teaching me how to spell it!), but 09 September is also a very significant day in American history, which few people know about.

On 09 September 1776, the Continental Congress passed a resolution referring to the “United States of America” for the first time.

Prior to that, our country had always been referred to as the “United Colonies of America”.

Pretty neat, huh?

Friday 17 September 2010 is National POW-MIA Day, AND, it is also the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the United States of America.

Anyway, I don’t know Hebrew, but “Happy New Year!”

(Does that include a kiss at Midnight? Heh! Heh! Heh!)

Thank you.

John Robert Mallernee
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Washington, D.C. 20011-8400

John Robert Mallernee on September 8, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Just for accuracy’s sake, in 1776 Rosh Hashanah fell out on Saturday and Sunday, September 14 and 15.

    Shy Guy on September 11, 2010 at 3:44 pm


When are you going to clean up your kitchen?

It’s a health hazard!

Don’t you realize that deer and antelope play on the range?

(I made that up all by myself!)

Thank you.

John Robert Mallernee
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Washington, D.C. 20011-8400

John Robert Mallernee on September 8, 2010 at 3:45 pm

LaShana Tova (Happy New Year), Debbie and all other Jewish readers here. 🙂

JeffE on September 8, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Shana Tova! Happy 5771!

Matthew on September 8, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Wow. I love hearing about Jewish holidays. Happy New Year! This was an interesting post.

Skunky on September 8, 2010 at 8:40 pm

Shana Tova — Happy new year Debbie!

Anonymous Twit on September 8, 2010 at 10:55 pm


ME on September 9, 2010 at 12:59 am

shana tova ve metuka. i just want to add that it is also important to eat fruits that which season starts on tishrey-like simbol of sweet and good year.

galit@israel on September 9, 2010 at 5:24 am


subodh khanna on September 9, 2010 at 8:23 am

Thank you, Debbie. L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu.

John on September 9, 2010 at 11:28 am

Debbie, may G-d bless you, keep you healthy and guide you in the work that you do. We could all use His guidance.
You may not be filthy rich but you have a goldmine of Gentile friends here who all want to say “Thank You and Have a Prosperous and Blessed Happy New Year!”

theShadow on September 10, 2010 at 12:03 am

Amen, Debbie. Shana Tova gam lach!

Betty on September 11, 2010 at 10:01 am

(My favorite apples, BTW, are McIntosh.)

Mine too. I also like Granny Smiths and Rome Beautys

Miranda Rose Smith on September 12, 2010 at 7:30 am

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