Thanks for the response on the Rosh Hashanah Trivia! I can see a wide range of answers show that we are all growing and willing to learn. It’s exciting to see what Hashem is teaching us, and one of the best ways to open ourselves to learning is through the yearly cycle of living out the feasts to the best of our ability.
Here we go with the answers. Although my answers are not 100% authoritative, they should be fairly complete.
Question: What is the name of the month in which Rosh Hashanah falls?
Answer: Tishrei. It is the seventh month from Nisan, the beginning of the religious calendar, and of course it is the first month on the civil calendar.
Question: What are some other names for this day (biblical or traditional)?
Answer: Yom T’ruah (Day of Sounding), Yom HaDin (Day of Judgement), Feast of Trumpets, New Year’s Day, Yom HaZikkaron (The Day of Remembering), Yom Harat Olam (The day of the birth of the world), Coronation Day (Celebrating the Kingship of Hashem)
Question: Why is Rosh Hashanah attributed as the first day of Creation?
Answer: Got a lot of good responses from this, but this is specifically what I had in mind.
The first sentence in the Bible is one with which we are all familiar: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” In Hebrew it is the following: בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארצ. The sages tell us that it is possible to rearrange the letters of the first word of this sentence (בראשית – b’reisheet – “in beginning”), to read בתשרי א, which means “on the first of Tishrei.” So, if we use this reading, it becomes the following: “On the first of Tishrei God created the heavens and the earth.” Therefore, 1 Tishrei is thought to be the birthdate of the world (although some believe it is the birthdate of mankind).
Question: Why do we blow the shofar on this day?
Answer: There are a few reasons we blow the shofar on this day, but the obvious ones are 1) It is commanded in Scripture (Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 29:1), 2) It is to announce the new moon, 3) It is a call to assembly.
The not-so-obvious is that it is a wake-up call to pierce our hearts and souls, beckoning us to awaken our slumbering souls, reminding us of who we were and who we are to become in the following year. It is a time to take all accounts into consideration, righting wrongs and making good on vows in preparation for when the Books of Life will be shut ten days later on Yom Kippur.
Question: Why do we eat sweets on this day?
Answer: Not only do we eat sweets in order to celebrate the hopes of a sweet new year, but also as a reminder that Hashem is our provision for the upcoming year as it is said, “With honey from a rock will I satisfy you” (Psalm 81:16).
Question: What attributes of G-d are emphasized on this day?
Answer: The main attribute of Hashem emphasized on Rosh Hashanah is His Kingship. It is considered Coronation Day, and the sounding of the shofar is in recognition of His Kingship. Other attributes which are inseparably tied to Rosh Hashanah are: His Judgement and His Mercy (with the recitation of the 13 Attributes of Mercy-Exodus 34:6-7 and remembering the Akeidah-Genesis 22:1-19)
Question: What is “tashlich”?
Answer: Tashlich is a beautiful tradition based off of Micah 7:18-20, which states “You will cast [tashlich] your sins into the depths of the sea.” We go to a body of moving water (not a pond, but a living body of water) and symbolically cast our sins off by turning our pockets inside out and casting bread crumbs onto the water while reading the following passages: Micah 7:18-20; Psalm 118:5-9; Psalm 33 and Psalm 130.
Question: What is the traditional greeting for this day?
Answer: “L’shanah tovah tikatevu” (May you be inscribed for a good year), sometimes shortened to “Shanah tovah” (Good year).
Question: Why is Rosh Hashanah celebrated for 2 days, even within Israel?
Answer: A quick answer can be found here on AskMoses.com.
Question: Put the following events of this month in the correct order:
1 Rosh Hashanah
2 Yom Kippur
4 Sh’mini Atzeret
5 Simchat Torah (Unless you are in Israel, at which time it would coincide with Sh’mini Atzeret)
- Rosh Hashanah Trivia
- 5 Minute Torah – Rosh Hashanah
- Rosh Chodesh – 2 Days?
- Themes of Elul – Part 1
- Daniel’s Messianic Midrash on Numbers 4:21-23