What Is Rosh Hashanah? All About the Jewish New Year, Plus 15 Rosh Hashanah Greetings

Rosh Hashanah is one of the most festive celebrations in the Hebrew year and begins a period of some of the holiest days in the Jewish calendar. However, for those who don't celebrate Jewish holidays, the details can be a bit unfamiliar. Learn all about Rosh Hashanah, including Rosh Hashanah dateswhy Rosh Hashanah is importantRosh Hashanah greetings and more.

What is Rosh Hashanah?

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish celebration of the New Year.

When is Rosh Hashanah?

Rosh Hashanah takes place on the first day of the Hebrew month Tishrei. In the Hebrew calendar, Tishrei is actually the seventh month of the year.

Related: What to Say to Someone During Yom Kippur

What are the Rosh Hashanah 2023 dates?

In 2023, Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on Friday, September 15, 2023, and concludes at sundown on Sunday, September 17, 2023.

What does Rosh Hashanah literally mean?

The literal translation of "Rosh Hashanah" is "head of the year."

How long is Rosh Hashanah 2023?

Rosh Hashanah lasts from sundown on Friday, September 15, 2023, through sundown on Sunday, September 17, 2023, for a total of 48 hours.

Related: 10 Traditional Jewish Recipes That Work for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah

Why is Rosh Hashanah important?

Rosh Hashanah begins the leadup to Yom Kippur, some of the holiest days in the Hebrew year (known as "Days of Awe"). Rosh Hashanah celebrates God's creation of mankind and is sometimes viewed as a birthday celebration as opposed to a New Year's celebration.

Why is Rosh Hashanah two days?

According to tradition, Rosh Hashanah is celebrated over two days due to questions around when the new moon would appear in the sky.

Related: Kick Off Rosh Hashanah With the Easiest Home-Style Onion Soup Mix Brisket Recipe

What does dying on Rosh Hashanah mean?

Some, but not all, Jewish people believe that dying during Rosh Hashanah indicates you were a righteous person during your life. This particular notion gained much more traction after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died during Rosh Hashanah 2020.

What is tzaddik? What does tzaddik Rosh Hashanah mean?

A tzaddik (or for a woman, tzaddika) is a Hebrew word meaning a righteous person.

What is the proper greeting for Rosh Hashanah?

There are a number of sweet ways to wish someone a happy new year for Rosh Hashanah.

Rosh Hashanah Greetings

1. "Shanah Tovah" means "Good year" (essentially "Happy New Year") in Hebrew.

2. "L'Shanah tovah" is the same.

3. "Shanah tovah um’tukah" means "Have a good and sweet year."

4. "Tizku l'shanim rabot" means "May you see many more years."

5. "Happy Rosh Hashanah" is easy and kind!

6. "L’shanah tovah tikateivu v’teichateimu" means "A good year, and may you be inscribed and sealed." This refers to the Book of Life.

7. In Yiddish, "Gut yontif" means "Have a good holiday." This greeting can be used for a number of Jewish holidays, including the traditionally somber Yom Kippur.

Related: Honey Products for National Honey Month & Rosh Hashanah

8. You can also say "Yom tov" for "good day."

9. In Yiddish, you can say, "A gut gebentsht yohr," which translates to "a good and blessed year."

10. Another Yiddish greeting is "a gutten kvittl," or "a good inscription."

11. Leading up to Yom Kippur, you can say, "tzom kal" to wish someone an easy fast.

12. Between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, you can say, "Gemar chatimah tovah." This means "a good final sealing."

13. "Have a sweet new year."

14. "To a happy and healthy new year."

15. "Have a blessed new year."

Next, check out these festive Rosh Hashanah recipes!