Rosh Hashanah Prayers

Hello friends, today we are going to talk about the prayers which are offered during Rosh Hashanah. As you might be knowing, Rosh Hashanah is the first day of the Jewish High Holy Days which occur in the month of September or October. It is a two-days celebration which begins at the first day of Tishrei, or the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year. It is a holy period for Jews because it symbolizes the birth of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman and also is the day of judgement by God. It is beleived that God writes the name of people in the Book of Life, whether Jew or non-Jews. Hence this period is marked by seeking repentance, feasting on sweet delicaices and offering special prayers.

Prayers are a special part of Rosh Hashanah. Special prayers apart from sabbath are offered, and people take time off from their work to offer prayers in synagogues. Another special ritual that is performed along with prayers is blowing shofar, or a hollow ram’s horn. It is to symbolize that Abraham was about to sacrifice his own son’s life to God instead of a ram.

Traditionally, much of the day is spent in synagogue during Rosh Hashanah. Although the afternoon and evening prayers are similar to regular days, the morning prayers are significantly longer.


Throughout the entire day, prayers are read from a holiday book called Machzor, which contains all the prayers and Torah readings.


During both the days, the morining prayer service is started by reading Torah. A special addition is the extended recitation of Amidah for both Sacharit and Mussaf. It is accompanied with piyyutim, religious poems which are added to regular services.


Although the shofar can be blown any time during the day before sunset, it is blown during Mussaf at several intervals.


During the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah, special ritual called Tashlik is recited. During this, prayers are recited near natural flowing water and breadcrumbs, or something similar is thrown in the water. The breadcrumbs signify sins, and throwing it away represents casting away of sins.

During the evening prayer services, kiddush or prayers for blessing of wine is performed. After the Kiddush is performed, women and girls perform the candle-lighting ceremony on each evening of Rosh Hashanah and recite appropriate prayers along with it.

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