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What The Heck is Rosh Hashanah?

Are you wondering why all your Jewish friends got to play hooky from work and school yesterday and today? Well, the answer is Rosh Hashanah…a magical Jewish holiday that you probably know nothing about.

So hey, why don’t we fix all that un-knowledge and learn all about the basics of Rosh Hashanah together!? And I’m not talking the boring way either…let’s do this the PJs way!

Fact 1: Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. While there are some differences, the festivities are similar in many ways to the New Year’s celebration you already know and love:

Fact 2: Rosh Hashanah is a time of judgment and remembrance. In fact, it is believed that now is the time God reviews and judges a person’s deeds done over the past year.

Fact 3: Rosh Hashanah is a time to ask for forgiveness from sins. The traditional way of doing this is a custom known as tashlikh, which involves praying near a river or lake and “throwing” your sins away by tossing bread crumbs into the water.

Note: Jews don’t believe in Hell, which is really too bad for the ducks.

Fact 4: The shofar, or ram’s horn, is the symbol of Rosh Hashanah. It is blown like a trumpet at synagogue to symbolize how God allowed Abraham to sacrifice a ram instead of his son (phew, that was a close one).

Fact 5: Rosh Hashanah occurs 10 days before Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement. On this day, all the names of the people who are getting into heaven are written in the Book of Life. There are three ways to ensure your name gets into the Book of Life:

If you don’t want to kill a hobo, then you can do community service instead. But really, where’s the fun in that?

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