Rosh Hashanah or the ’Jewish New Year’ is a festival which is observed on the first and second days of Tishrei. Rosh Hashanah marks the start of a 10-day period of prayers, reflection and repentance. Like other Jewish holidays, Rosh Hashanah is celebrated with various rituals and religious activities aimed at strengthening one’s spiritual devotion. A Kiddush (blessing of the wine) is recited before the meal on the night of Rosh Hashanah. Observing evening Kiddush for Rosh Hashanah is easy with these practical tips:
- Before reciting the Kiddush, cover the challah with cloth or remove it from the table. According to Jewish laws, blessing of the bread takes precedence to the blessing of wine. Covering the challah with cloth will ‘remove’ it by means of concealing it from view.
- Any Kosher wine can be used for the ceremony. Fill the Kiddush cup with wine to the rim (to symbolize fullness of joy). The person performing Kiddush should bear in mind that he is abiding a Torah commandment.
- Hold the cup filled with wine and recite the following: “Blessed are you, our Lord, our God, King of the Universe who creates the fruit of the vine.”
- Sip from the cup and pass it on to everyone present at the table. Each person should recite the blessing and sip from the cup before passing it on to another person.
- Each person should refrain from speaking until they’ve said the blessing and sipped from the Kiddush cup.
- Observe the other Rosh Hashanah rituals such as the lighting of candles and casting off of sins (Tashlikh).
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