The Significance Of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur


465 Words 3-Minute Listen
Rosh Hashanah celebrates the creation of the world in the Jewsh faith (Credit:Public Domain

Rosh Hashanah, or Jewish New Year, will be celebrated from sundown on September 6, 2021, through sundown on September 8, 2021. The two-day observance, which starts on the first day of Tishrei — the seventh month on the Jewish calendar — commemorates the creation of the world.

It also marks the beginning of the Days of Awe. The 10-day period, which ends with Yom Kippur, is a time to think about the past year and ask for God's forgiveness for any wrongdoing. Rosh Hashanah's exact date, determined by the Hebrew calendar, changes every year. However, it is almost always in September or October.

Unlike the New Year celebrations in January, Rosh Hashanah, which means "head of the year," is a quiet and reflective holiday. Observers attend special synagogue services where they sing songs, listen to readings from holy Jewish texts, and recite prayers from the machzor. The special prayer book is only used during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Sounding the shofar is an important part of Rosh Hashanah (Credit: Jonathunder/CC BY-SA 3.0/ Wikimedia Commons)

Perhaps the most important element of the holiday is the ceremonial sounding of the shofar — a trumpet typically made from a ram’s horn. Shofar blowers begin by reciting a collection of holy verses and blessings. They then sound the instrument in four different sets: A long blast known as tekiah, three short blasts known as shevarim, nine rapid blasts known as teruah, and a very long blast called a tekiah gedolah.

Following the religious service, observers return home for a delicious meal, which incorporates many symbolic foods. A round loaf of challah represents the circle of life, while apples and honey stand for good health and happiness in the upcoming year.

Yom Kippur

The 10 Days of Awe end with Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement. This year, the holiday will be observed from sundown on September 15 through sundown on September 16, 2021. Considered the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, it is spent in continuous prayer at the synagogue. Jews do not work or go to school on this day. Many also fast for 25 hours, don white clothing, and refrain from wearing make-up, perfume, or leather shoes. Yom Kippur ends with a joyous celebration and a breaking of the fast.

Yom Kippur is credited to the prophet Moses. According to Jewish tradition, when the people of Israel left Egypt, they went to Mount Sinai. Moses climbed to the top of the mountain and received two tablets with the Ten Commandments from God. The first commandment told people to only worship God. But when Moses came down the mountain, he found the Israelites worshiping a golden calf. Moses destroyed the tablets in anger. However, after the people made amends for their sins, God forgave them and gave Moses a second set of tablets.

shana tovah u’metukah ( A good and sweet year)!

Resources:,,, Wikipedia,org

Get the Workbook for this article!

Workbook contains: Article, Reading Comprehension, Critical Thinking Questions, Vocabulary in Context (+ answers), Multiple Choice Quiz (+ answers), Parts of Speech Quiz (+ answers), Vocabulary Game (+ answers)
Cite Article
  • ash16
    ash164 days
    Its so cool that they have 3 types of special horns!
    • gatosisakado
      I have a friend that is Jewish. Now I can tell her all the stuff I learned
    • zoren
      zoren20 days
      • olddan
        olddan20 days
        • bonowasovepy
          • rykycalo-162693574537
            • bsc
              bsc26 days
              I celebrate Rosh Hashanah as well as Hanukkah. Shana tovah!
              • cuteuni
                cuteuni27 days
                This is so cool! I remember learning some of this in my history class. Diffrent cultures are so cool this one if diffrent from ours and crazy and awesome and sounds kinda fun! I love holidays! If I hear about a holiday in a diffrent place we don't celebrate and it sounds fun to me my mom lets me do it! Because it teaches you about history and she's happy I'm into that!
                • pookpine
                  pookpine27 days
                  Every morning ,I read a new current event.
                  • dogolover99
                    Hey everyone! My sisters birthday is soon and I need some ideas for what to get/make her. Can you guys help?
                    • marypopcorn
                      Tell me what she's interested in, and I'll give you some ideas. I'm excellent at picking gifts. Also, if you are going to buy crystals, or you know someone who is going to, I can also help you find which crystals to buy.