Rosh Hashanah 2020

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Rosh Hashanah 2020

Rosh Hashanah means “head of the year” in Hebrew and is the Jewish New Year. It is a two-day holiday marking the first and second days of the Jewish year and is a time of inner renewal and divine atonement. This year (2020) Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on Friday, September 18th, and continues through nightfall on Sunday, September 20th. 
Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of reflection and repentance that culminates in the Yom Kippur holiday, also known as the Day of Atonement. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the two “High Holy Days” in the Jewish religion.

red apple dish with yellow bumble bee honey pot

Rosh Hashanah Celebrations 

This year, celebrating Rosh Hashanah in Boca Raton is going to be like nothing any of us have experienced in our lifetimes because of coronavirus restrictions and social distancing. There are so many things that will be missed such as: sitting down in your usual seat in synagogue, connecting with family and friends over large meals, and hearing the shofar and classic melodies. Although the religious imperative of protecting public health might trump ritual obligations, we must make every effort to still fulfill our religious duties, particularly on the holiest of days.

Here are some of the Rosh Hashanah celebrations that can be done safely:

  • Attending VIRTUAL services. On Rosh Hashanah, generally much of the day has always been spent in the synagogue. Because of the pandemic, synagogues are streaming services virtually. Some are streamed live from empty synagogues while others have been partially pre-recorded. If your synagogue is temporarily closed or you do not feel safe being amongst a crowd at the synagogue, this is a great alternative to attending Rosh Hashanah service. So gather your family around the computer or TV and tune into an online service. 
  • Blowing of the Shofar (ram's horn). One of the most important components of the annual Rosh Hashanah ceremony is the blowing of the shofar. It is used as a call to repentance during the High Holy Days. The shofar is blown in synagogue services on Rosh Hashanah and at the very end of Yom Kippur. Because this is usually performed during an indoor service there are fears that the ram’s horn might be a super-spreader for coronavirus, so some synagogues are doing things a little differently this year. Ask your rabbi about any outdoor shofar-soundings near you—maybe in a park or other open space; there are even drive-in Shofar services taking place in parking lots. Many temples will also be hosting shofar-blowing livestreams and prerecorded videos online as well.

  • Lighting candles each evening. As with every major Jewish holiday, women and girls light candles on each evening of Rosh Hashanah and recite the appropriate blessings. On the second night (or if lighting after nightfall on the first night), make sure to use an existing flame.

  • Eating festive meals with sweet delicacies during the night and day. Since Rosh Hashanah is a holiday usually observed with friends and family, gather a group together for a socially distanced outdoor service. If you are not able to gather with family and friends, share the holiday with distanced family and friends by logging onto the same livestream. Either way, ring in the Jewish New Year in a memorable way by creating the right mood: use pictures of family and Jewish memorabilia as the background in your space, get dressed up, prepare the festive meals, and make it special.
The following items take place in a proper Rosh Hashanah celebration:
    • Kiddush over wine or grape juice. Kiddush means "sanctification," and is a blessing recited over wine or grape juice to sanctify this Jewish holiday.
    • Round, raisin challah bread dipped in honey. The bread (traditionally baked into round challah loaves, and often sprinkled with raisins) is dipped into honey instead of salt, expressing the wish for a sweet year.
    • Apples dipped in honey. Furthering the sweet theme, it is traditional to begin the meal on the first night with slices of apple dipped in honey. Before eating the apple, you make the ha’eitz blessing and then say, “May it be Your will to renew for us a good and sweet year.”
    • The head of a fish and other foods symbolizing the wishes for the coming year. It is customary on the first night of Rosh Hashanah to partake of the head of a fish, ram, or other kosher animal. This symbolizes the desire to be the "head and not the tail" during the coming year.
    • A new fruit. The tradition is to eat something that you have not tasted since the last time it was in season. The most common fruit that is eaten during Rosh Hashanah is the pomegranate.
        • Performing Tashlich. This is a brief prayer said at a body of fresh water (preferably with fish) on the first afternoon of Rosh Hashanah. People throw crumbs or pieces of bread, symbolizing their sins, into flowing water and recite the Tashlich prayers. Luckily for people celebrating Rosh Hashanah in Boca Raton, the ocean is close by, so performing Taslich can certainly be done with no problem while still practicing social distancing.
        • Refraining from work. Rosh Hashanah is supposed to be spent thinking and reflecting on your own behavior. Therefore work is not permitted during Rosh Hashanah because it helps with the reflection element.
        • Saying the proper greeting. The common greeting during Rosh Hashanah is L'shanah tovah which is Hebrew "for a good year".

        Michael Aram gold apple honey pot

        Shop for Rosh Hashanah Gifts at Devon's Diamonds & Decor

        Invited to someone’s house for a Rosh Hashanah meal and looking for an appropriate gift? Or maybe you are looking to upgrade the style of your existing Rosh Hashanah items. Either way, at Devon's Diamonds & Decor, we carry a large selection of gifts for Rosh Hashanah in Boca Raton. Here are some great Rosh Hashanah gift ideas:

        gary rosenthal apple and honey dish


        During Rosh Hashanah, it is traditional to eat apples dipped in honey. With hopes for a sweet and fruitful year ahead (which we certainly could all use), this decorative set makes an awesome gift. Looking for a unique apple and honey dish in Boca Raton? Check out Devon's Diamonds & Decor in Royal Palm Place.


        gary rosenthal kiddush cup


        Shabbat and Jewish holiday meals begin with a blessing over a cup of wine. Kiddush cups are a beautifully decorated wine vessel in which that wine is held in. This is a great gift because it can be used all year round. Stop by our store to view our selection of Kiddush cups in Boca Raton.


        silver kiddush fountain set


        Once the wine has been blessed, the Kosher wine gets poured into the large Kiddush cup at the top and the wine cascades through the fountain and fills the smaller cups below. Each participant at the blessing gets a cup to sample the sanctified wine. Another great gift to be used year round, for Shabbat and other Jewish holidays.
        challah cover


        A challah cover is a special cloth used to cover the loaves of challah at the beginning of the Rosh Hashanah meal. What is great about this gift is that it can be used for not only this holiday but for other major Jewish holidays and Shabbat as well. If you are looking for challah covers in Boca Raton, we carry a large variety of styles and materials.


        wooden challah board


        The challah board is a familiar sight at Jewish holiday meals. It is designed to hold challah bread as well as symbolize God’s commitment to support his chosen people. A challah board is as much a decorative item as it is functional. Find the perfect challah board in Boca Raton at Devon's Diamonds & Decor.


        pomegranate honey dish


        Pomegranates are highly symbolic in Jewish tradition. By eating a pomegranate, it expresses the wish for a year filled with as many merits as a pomegranate has seeds. Another reason that Jewish people eat pomegranates is because they are said to have 613 seeds: one for each of the 613 commandments they keep. A pomegranateshaped dish not only makes a great centerpiece while holding your honey on Rosh Hashanah but it can also be used for candies or nuts throughout the year.


        blue gary rosenthal shabbat candleholders


        Girls and all women who are in the house light candles to usher in each night of the holiday. This also goes for Shabbat and most of the Jewish holidays, making candleholders another wonderful multi-purpose gift. Shop a range of traditional to modern candleholders in Boca Raton at Devon's Diamonds & Decor. 


        Michael Aram gold pomegranate seder plate


        Most people associate a seder plate with the Passover holiday and they associate apples dipped in honey with Rosh Hashanah. But well before apples entered the scene, there was a seder plate on the Rosh Hashanah table. Rosh Hashanah seder plates in Boca Raton are becoming a big deal. Often you will find them decorated in a pomegranate style like this Michael Aram Pomegranate seder plate shown here.

        These are the following foods that are traditionally found on a Rosh Hashanah seder plate, though individual customs vary:

        • Beets
        • Dates
        • Leeks
        • Pomegranates
        • Pumpkins
        • Beans
        • Most common, a piece of apple is dipped in honey.

        Rosh Hashanah Gifts in Boca Raton

        While it is not obligatory to bring a gift for Rosh Hashanah in Boca Raton, it is definitely a thoughtful gesture that will certainly be appreciated. Whether you are looking for a gift for Rosh Hashanah or you simply want to upgrade the style of your existing Rosh Hashanah items, Devon's Diamonds & Decor has got you covered. We carry a unique selection of Judaica gifts in Boca Raton for every holiday and occasion. Rosh Hashanah is just around the corner! Get your loved ones the best Rosh Hashanah gifts in Boca Raton at Devon's Diamonds & Decor.

         L'shanah tovah!

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