When I refer to dates, I use the Western Calendar. I call the months by their Western – or Christian, however you call it – names: there’s October and August and December and January. On the 1st of January, I, like many others in Israel, celebrate the Western New Year. But we also get to celebrate another new year – the Hebrew New Year. 

“Rosh” means “head” or “beginning” and “Hashanah” means “the year”, so when we celebrate Rosh Hashanah, we celebrate the beginning of the new Hebrew year. This year, Rosh Hashana started in the evening of October 2nd and lasted until the evening of October 4th. In the Jewish religion, all holidays begin in the evening, because the new day begins when the sun goes down.

We spent Rosh Hashanah in my Grandma’s house in the North. We always make sure to celebrate Rosh Hashanah with the family, because it’s important to be together in the beginning of the new year. If we’ll be together on Rosh Hashanah, we’ll be together all year, even if we live apart. So it was me, Grandma, my uncle, my parents and my little brother. My other little brother is abroad, so we talked to him via Skype, just to feel that he is a little bit with us on Rosh Hashanah.

Before we got to the big feast, we ate some apple with honey, to make sure that our upcoming year will be sweet. We also ate some pomegranate seeds, which symbolizes our promise to the universe that this year we will be better people than the other year and do many good deeds. My Grandma also added some dates to the table, maybe because they are also sweet. There are many food items that can be eaten during Rosh Hashanah, symbolizing a good and sweet and fruitful year, but every family chooses the food items they want, and we didn’t choose many. 

We ate the feast, which was very delicious, talked about our lives and interests, laughed and were together on Rosh Hashanah- that’s the most important thing.

May this year be much better than the one we left behind (although that year was great, too). I wish you all a great year, full of adventures, full of love and laughter, full of travels, full of self-building and health! We’re going to have the best year ever!!! (:

Yours, Lior

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