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What are the High Holy Days?

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and lasts for two days and occurs on the first and second day of Tishri, the seventh month of the Jewish year. The word “Rosh Hashanah” means “Head of the year” in Hebrew.   In the Torah the holidays are called Yom Ha-Zikkaron (the day of remembrance) or Yom Teruah (the day of the sounding of the shofar) not Rosh Hashanah  

Rosh Hashanah itself is a joyous celebration, when the mood is upbeat, and it is wonderful to come together to mark the beginning of another new year with the community. However on this day Jewish people also begin in earnest the process of looking back at the mistakes of the past year planning the changes to make in the upcoming year. This process is known as Teshuvah. This Ten day period of introspection, also known as the Days of Awe, concludes with Yom Kippur.  

Yom Kippur, the ‘Day of Atonement’, is the most solemn day of the year. It takes place on the 10th day of the month of Tishrei, in other words 10 days following Rosh Hashana, the new year. The ten days between the two festivals are known as the Ten Days of Penitence and represent a time of reflection and contemplation on one’s acts over the previous 12 months- a process known as teshuvah, or ‘returning’. During this period we think about the mistakes that we may have made and those we have wronged as well as where we may have erred in our relationship to God. We also think about how we can resolve to be better over the coming year. The day of Yom Kippur itself represents the culmination of that period of teshuvah  when we are closer to God than ever, renewing our relationship with him for the year ahead. 

Here you'll find articles, recipes, activities and more that you can access over the High Holy Day period. We'll be updating this page as we go along - so do revisit the page! If you have found a resource that you'd love to share with us, let us know by emailing it in here.

Tue, 19 October 2021 13 Cheshvan 5782