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Jewish New Years Customs: The New Year is called  Rosh Hashanah which means Head of the Year. The date follows a lunar-solar calendar starting at the first month of Tishri in the fall. In synagogues and temples a shofar, ram’s horn is sounded to call the people to repent. At the beginning of the New Year, God decides the fate of the soul for the year. People wish each other life. On the tenth day of Tishri called Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement, observant Jews fast for 24 hours. It is the holiest day of the year and people ask god for forgiveness for promises they didn’t keep to themselves. Kol Nidre prayers are said. Cantors and rabbis wear white robes as a symbol of purity and renewal. New clothing is worn by the people. Leather is not worn. After sundown families and friends share in a break the fast meal. (2)

Foods:  Apples and honey are eaten to symbolize a sweet year. Dates, figs, and pomegranates may be eaten. A egg bread called challah is eaten to represent god’s crown. Gefilte fish, turkey, brisket, and honey cake may be eaten by Eastern European Jews. Kurdistan Jews eat flat bread. Morroccan Jews eat fijuelas (fritters in honey), Alsatians eat zwetschgenkuchen (blue plum pie). L’Shanah Tova means Good New Year. (2)

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