Here are some Rosh Hashanah facts from www.touristisrael.com:
• Prayers on Rosh Hashanah vary between Jews who have developed different prayers based on where they were living for hundreds of years.
• The blowing of the shofar (ram’s horn) is an iconic symbol of Rosh Hashanah — 100 (or 101) shofar blasts are sounded in the synagogue to symbolize God’s sovereignty over the world and remind Jews of the giving of the commandments on Mt. Sinai and of Abraham and Isaac’s devotion to God. They arouse people to repentance and to herald the Day of Judgment and the coming of the Messiah.
Other symbols of Rosh Hashanah
• Apples and honey are customarily eaten along with other sweet foods to symbolize a sweet new year.
• During Rosh Hashanah, and just before the holiday begins, you will see round challah (braided sweet bread), often with raisins, in many bakeries.
• The round shape of the bread is symbolic of the circle of life and the yearly cycle.
• Along with other sweet baked goods, one of the most popular treats for Rosh Hashanah is honey cake, which can also be found in many bakeries. It is also traditional to eat fruit, like pomegranates, that have not yet been eaten during the season. Since they are ripe this time of year, they taste extra sweet and delicious.
Tashlich is a custom carried out on Rosh Hashanah afternoon where Jews to walk to a river, lake, or another flowing body of water, to shake out one’s pockets and symbolically cast one’s sins into the water.
• If you want to wish people a happy new year, you can say “Shanah Tovah,” which means “Have a good year” in Hebrew. The period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is called “The Ten Days of Repentance,” during which people have the opportunity to atone for their sins.
President Donarld J. Trump issued the following message to those celebrating Rosh Hashanah this year:
“As the High Holy Days commence, Melania and I wish those observing Rosh Hashanah a blessed and happy New Year. This sacred day marks the start of a 10-day period of both celebration and reflection. Throughout the High Holy Days, those in the Jewish community engage in prayer and repentance, which culminate in the holiest day of the year in Judaism, Yom Kippur. Each day, with the blowing of the shofar, the Jewish people embark on a new spiritual journey to grow closer to Hashem and find a renewed sense of purpose in their faith. As men, women, and children around the world partake in traditional liturgy and enjoy customary meals with loved ones, we are all reminded of the virtues we can incorporate into our lives to better us as a Nation — kindness, compassion, and love. Together, with devotion to these ideals, we can form more sincere bonds with people of all faiths to help spread peace and prosperity in the United States and abroad. Melania and I pray that those celebrating Rosh Hashanah build a more meaningful relationship with God throughout the High Holy Days. May the Almighty bless you all.”
Sources: www.touristisrael.com and The White House