In the Hebrew language, Rosh Hashanah means “first of the year”, with most referring to it as the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah customs and traditions may vary across communities and regions, but the meaning remains constant. The holiday is meant for reflection and repentance, looking forward to a new start in the new year. The day is marked by prayer in the synagogue, and spending time celebrating with family. In this way, it is both a serious occasion and one with much festivity. To wish loved ones L’Shana Tovah (a good new year) either across the miles or right here in Wilmington and Newark – start with a floral arrangement from Boyd’s Flowers.
While Rosh Hashanah doesn’t officially designate a representative color, white traditionally signifies purity and a new beginning, which is appropriate for the meaning behind both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which takes place 10 days later. White is elegant and classic; you can select lilies, roses, orchids, or hydrangea for a sophisticated floral design. You may also choose to add blue elements – delphinium, iris or hydrangea – as in the Jewish culture, blue represents divinity.
Here are some customs and traditions surrounding the observance of Rosh Hashanah:
- The shofar is a ram’s horn which is played in a similar way to a trumpet. One of the most meaningful rituals of this holiday is hearing the sounding of the shofar while at the synagogue. Although the history of the tradition is not recorded, most feel the shofar’s sound is a call to repentance.
- Work is not allowed on Rosh Hashanah, and most of the day is spent in prayer. There is a special set of prayers contained in the machzor (prayer book) that are specific to this holiday and Yom Kippur.
- When the family gathers for the meal, it often includes fresh challah bread and apples, both eaten after being dipped in honey. The honey represents the hope for a coming “sweet year”. Apples represent the circle of life;
- A special blessing is said over two loaves of braided challah bread, symbolizing the two portions of manna given on Fridays to the children of Israel during their time in the desert after the exodus from Egypt.If you cannot be with loved ones on Rosh Hashanah, you may want to send a meaningful bouquet to let them know how much they mean to you, and that you wish you were there with them. Call Boyd’s Flowers to discuss which flowers you would like to include, and we’ll take it from there! L’Shana Tovah to all of our Jewish friends.