Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish celebration of the New Year.
The catch-all Jewish new year greeting for the entire season is “Shanah tovah” (שנה טובה), which means “Good year.” The word “u’metuka” (ומתוקה), and sweet, is sometimes appended to the end.
On September 15th, Jewish people celebrate Rosh Hashana. Literally, it means, Head (Rosh) of the Year (Shana).
This year is the celebration of the year 5784. Instead of sequin dresses, champagne and watching the ball drop, the focus is introspection. What parts of ourselves need attention? Who do we need to forgive? What relationships need repair?
Rosh Hashanah takes place on the first day of the Hebrew month Tishrei. In the Hebrew calendar, Tishrei is actually the seventh month of the year.
Rosh Hashanah lasts from sundown on Friday, September 15, 2023, through sundown on Sunday, September 17, 2023, for a total of 48 hours.
Rosh Hashanah begins the leadup to Yom Kippur, some of the holiest days in the Hebrew year (known as “Days of Awe”). Rosh Hashanah celebrates God’s creation of mankind and is sometimes viewed as a birthday celebration as opposed to a New Year’s celebration.
According to tradition, Rosh Hashanah is celebrated over two days due to questions around when the new moon would appear in the sky.
There are a number of great ways to wish someone a happy new year for Rosh Hashanah:
“Shanah Tovah” means “Good year” (essentially “Happy New Year”) in Hebrew.
“L’Shanah tovah” is the same.
“Shanah tovah um’tukah” means “Have a good and sweet year.”
“Tizku l’shanim rabot” means “May you see many more years.”
“Happy Rosh Hashanah” is easy and kind!
“L’shanah tovah tikateivu v’teichateimu” means “A good year, and may you be inscribed and sealed.” This refers to the Book of Life.
In Yiddish, “Gut yontif” means “Have a good holiday.” This greeting can be used for a number of Jewish holidays, including the traditionally somber Yom Kippur.
You can also say “Yom tov” for “good day.”
In Yiddish, you can say, “A gut gebentsht yohr,” which translates to “a good and blessed year.”
Another Yiddish greeting is “a gutten kvittl,” or “a good inscription.”
Leading up to Yom Kippur, you can say, “tzom kal” to wish someone an easy fast.
Between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, you can say, “Gemar chatimah tovah.” This means “a good final sealing.”
“Have a great new year.”
“To a happy and healthy new year.”
“Have a blessed new year.”