Rosh Hashanah Customs and traditions
Following are the customs and rituals traditionally associated with the observance of Rosh
The Feast of Trumpets :
Food and festivals are intertwined together. The Rosh Hashana is no exception to this.
The rituals used as a part of this 'feast of trumpets', or the feast of shofar, is a festive feast.
It is a Minhag (custom) during the New Year season featuring sweet foods as a symbol of our desire for a sweet year.
According to the Talmud, the Jewish scripture, symbolic acts are performed as a good omen, and also as an expression of prayer that the New Year brings good for all.
The challahs are dipped in honey; and afterwards, on the first night, a piece of apple dipped in honey is also eaten. Honey is also a main ingredient in many holiday recipes.
After the appropriate blessing on the apple, it is added: "May it be Your will to renew for us a good and sweet year." Other customs include eating the head of a fish, pomegranates and carrots. These foods are eaten as "simanim," "good omens," of success and happiness for the coming year.
It is also customary to refrain from sleep during the day of Rosh Hashana, and rather to engage in Torah study or other spiritually productive activity. If one is idle, it is as if he slept. The Talmud Yerushalmi writes, "If one sleeps at the year’s beginning, his good fortune likewise sleeps."
And remember no nuts please on Rosh Hashanah, mainly because the gematria (numeric value) of the Hebrew word for "nut," "egoz" is the same as that for the Hebrew word for "sin," "chet.".
Finally please keep anger at bay on Rosh Hashana. Always remember that G-d judges us in the same manner as we judge other people. If we get angry easily, so will be He.
Whatever is done remember:
Y'hee ratzon Hashem sheh-tichadesh alainu shana tovah oomtookah.
"May it be your will Hashem that you renew for us a good and sweet year."
This is a popular Minhagim of Rosh Hashana. Tashlich is "casting off" of sins. It is performed after the Mincha prayers, on the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashana. However, if Rosh Hashana falls on a Shabbat, then Tashlich is performed on the second day. We walk to a body of flowing water, preferably one containing live fish, say a special prayer, and symbolically empty our pockets into the river, casting off our sins.
The Tashlich service is a Minhag based on the verse from Micah (7:9) "and cast into the depths of the sea all their sins".
In fact, a great deal of time is spent in the synagogue on Yomim Nora'im, praying to Hashem that our sins be forgiven and that we be inscribed in the "Book" of Life.