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Happy Rosh Hashanah! Nitya interviews Amir about Jewish New Year’s and how his family celebrates

Jewish New Year is from September 6th to September 8th this year. How come it is so long?
“Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the year according to the Jewish calendar which this year is being celebrated on the 6th of September. On this day, Jews from all over the world celebrate God's creation of the world. But, every year has a different date for the new year which is according to the Gregorian calendar. It usually occurs during the month of September; for instance, last year the holiday was on the 18th of September.
The Torah [the first part of the Jewish bible] determines the day of Rosh Hashanah according to the time of the moon's birth. A while ago, there actually was a special court in Israel which was in charge of hearing a witness who saw the birth of the new moon. This message would then be spread to the entire population of Israel. However it was not possible to bring the message to all the population living in the different distances. Hence in order to remove doubt, it was determined that Rosh Hashanah will always be two days long.”

How do you celebrate in your family?
“We would go to the synagogue and gather together as a family for a traditional Rosh Hashanah meal with special blessings. There, we eat a variety of foods, with each bite having a meaning behind them. Sweet foods such as apples and honey are eaten, which symbolize our hope for a sweet New Year. The heads of fishes are eaten to remind us to be like the leaders, the heads, not the followers, the tails. Finally, ‘Challah’ a symbolic sweet bread and pomegranate is also eaten to symbolize our promise to do good deeds in the New Year. You can see in the picture our festive table from last year’s celebration of Rosh Hashanah.”

Nitya and Amir are both in Grade 9. Thank you for sharing, Amir, and thank you for doing the interview, Nitya!