Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins at sundown today, at ends two days later on sundown. It is called Yom Teruah in the Bible and commands that “you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation.” It is also the first of the Jewish High Holy Days specified in Leviticus 23. Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Jewish civil year.
It is marked by the sounding the shofar (an ancient musical horn made from a ram’s horn) and attending synagogue services and reciting a special liturgy. Festive meals are an important part of the two days with an emphasis on sweet foods on the second day to evoke a sweet new year. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this year many synagogues have to separate readers of the 10 verses due to social distancing rules. And in many cases the services will be streamed online for those that cannot attend due to these same restrictions.