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Rosh ha-Shanah

Rosh ha-Shanah celebrates the Jewish New Year. According to oral tradition, it marks the day on which the creation of the world was completed. In English, it means literally "head of the year."

The fall holiday is joyous, but in contrast to the Roman-Catholic New Year’s Eve on 31 December, it is also a time for self-reflection: on this "day of judgment," as the holiday is also known, practicing Jews look back on the year behind them, reflect inwardly, pray and repent for their wrongdoings – until Yom Kippur. Rosh ha-Shanah also has festive components: the horn of a ram, a shofar, is blown, apples are dipped in honey and eaten, and people wish their loved ones a "sweet" new year.

Audiodatei abspielen Audiodatei abspielen

This is what a shofar sounds like.

Browse through historical Rosh ha-Shanah cards from the museum's archive in our Online Showcase.

Illustration of a woman with an apple and honey on a tray
Apples and honey symbolize the "sweet" year to come (screenshot from Sansanvi's Park)
Jewish Museum Berlin, Illustration: Gesine Grotrian-Steinweg
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