ROSH HASHANA TRADITIONS 5780
BY ANA GUTIERREZ (EDITED BY LARRY LUXNER)
Most Jews celebrate Rosh Hashana, though some outside Israel welcome the new year with their own local customs and traditions.
In Ethiopia — a country that enjoys long-standing relations with Israel — Rosh Hashana is observed only for one day, with three prayer services instead of the usual four. While Israelis might wear any color, Ethiopians prefer white clothing, and only elders may read sacred Jewish texts or blow the shofar.
Jews in India have their own way of celebrating Rosh Hashana, too, incorporating elements of Indian cuisine such as milk halwa, a variant of sahlab. Women wear colorful saris, while men keep it more formal with custom-made shirts, pants and vest suits.
Rosh Hashana goes beyond family gatherings; having the right food in abundance is crucial. Dipping apple in honey symbolizes a sweet year to come; the fish head steers us in the right direction, and the pomegranate seeds signify all the good things we will do in 5780.
Whether you spend Rosh Hashana praying at the synagogue, partying at the nearest club, or enjoying Chinese food while binging Netflix with the family, what binds Jews around the world is our longing to celebrate the next Rosh Hashana in a rebuilt Jerusalem.
From my corner in the world to your corner, I wish you an epic journey for your soul in this new year, and may you celebrate the next one in Jerusalem.
Ana Gutierrez is a Gvahim volunteer, living in Lima, Peru. You can find her personal blog at: https://randomana.com/