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Explained: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

Rosh Hashanah, which begins on the first day of the Hebrew month of "Tishrei," celebrates the Jewish New Year.

MINNESOTA, USA — As we approach the sacred season of religious holidays for the Jewish community, you might hear or see people greeting one another by saying "L'shanah tovah," or "good year" to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. 

Rosh Hashanah is the first of the two main High Holy Days, also called the High Holidays, and celebrates the Jewish New Year.

Celebrated on the first day of the Hebrew month of "Tishrei," Rosh Hashanah beings at sundown on Sept. 6 and concludes at sundown on Sept. 8, 2021. The holiday represents a period of renewal, and important activities include attending synagogue to hear the blowing of the shofar, a sacred ram's horn, and eating apple slices with honey. Apples represent hopes for fruitfulness, and honey symbolizes the desire for a sweet year.

Rosh Hashanah is believed to mark the date of the creation of the world, and it begins the "Days of Awe," a 10-day period culminating in Yom Kippur.

Yom Kippur is both the holiest day of the Jewish calendar and also one of the most somber. It's the time for repentance and includes fasting and prayer.

Concepts of repentance and forgiveness are particularly highlighted in Yom Kippur. The biblical description of Yom Kippur involved a series of sacrifices and rituals designed to remove sin from the people.

For a list of synagogues and Jewish community centers celebrating the High Holidays across the Twin Cities metro, click here.

TC Jewfolk, an independent Jewish online media outlet, also has a running list of events happening throughout September.

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