Photo: history.com

By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS

 A blast of the ram’s horn on the night of Friday, Sept. 18, will summon Jews across Mexico to synagogues and local congregations to celebrate the beginning of the holiest period in the Jewish calendar.

Starting at sunset, members of the Jewish community throughout the world will begin the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, ushering in the start of the year 5781 in the Hebraic calendar, which purports to date back to the creation of the world.

The two-day Rosh Hashanah festivities, often called the Hebrew New Year, begin on the first day of the Jewish month of Tishri, which is considered as the most important day of judgment before God.

The next 10 days, generally referred to as the Jewish High Holidays, are a time for reflection and forgiveness, and culminate with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the most sacred Jewish holy day.

As part of the traditional Rosh Hashanah celebrations, sumptuous meals are served in synagogues and homes with apples dipped in honey.

Before the first bite of apples and honey, a prayer asking for a sweet year is recited in Hebrew.

Holiday dinners typically include wine and challah, a rich egg bread stuffed with raisins and shaped into golden spirals to symbolize the continuity of life.

Rosh Hashanah is also characterized by the blowing of the shofar, a trumpet made from a ram’s horn, intended to awaken the listener and alert them to the coming judgment.

“Rosh Hashanah is a time for taking stock of what we have done in the past year and considering ways we correct our errors in the year to come,” explained Rabbi Yossef Mayzlesh, head of Mexico’s Chabad Lubavitch congregation.

…Sept. 18, 2020

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