What is Rosh Hashanah
According to the Jewish calendar, the year 5781 begins on September 19th. The years from the time the world was created are counted. Like all Jewish festivals, the New Year festival Rosh Hashanah, which translates as "head of the year", begins on the evening before, i.e. on Wednesday at sunset. On Rosh Hashana, God takes a closer look at people's deeds.
God opens the book of life in which all human deeds are precisely recorded.
If you don't do so well with your behavior now, you have the opportunity to make amends and change your life over the next 10 days. To commemorate this, Arie Rudolph, the prayer leader in the synagogue in Bamberg, blows the shofar, a ram's horn. He calls on the believers: "Be ready to repent of your sins before God".
The days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur are called "the awesome days".
It is a very solemn time. The services in the synagogues are filled to the last seat: "The people are still sitting in the back on the window sills, because it is something that is very deeply rooted and that is where the whole community comes together," said Yael Deusel, rabbi of the liberal Jewish community in Bamberg.
After the service there is a celebratory meal at home. This includes apples dipped in honey and pomegranate seeds. They should stand as a symbol of sweet, good new times. Because now God decides about man's life in the next year. "May you be inscribed in the book of life" pious Jews wish one another for a good year. Or just "Shana tova", happy new year. By the way, in Yiddish it is called "a git Rosh", which in German usage became "a happy new year".
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