Prayer Services of Rosh Hashanah

The unique New Year prayers vividly recall the major themes of the holiday.

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Although not officially a part of the synagogue service, an additional custom developed in medieval times called Tashlikh, which means “casting out.” On the afternoon of Rosh Hashanah, Jews gather by a body of water, recite special verses and then throw crumbs of bread into the water in a symbolic gesture of casting off their sins. Perhaps in an echo of the scapegoat ceremony, the fish are expected to eat the sin-crumbs and bear them away. Whenever the first day of Rosh Hashanah falls on a Sabbath, the Tashlikh ceremony is performed on the second day of Rosh Hashanah.

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Rabbi Daniel Kohn

Rabbi Daniel Kohn, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, was ordained from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1991. He is the author of several books on Jewish education and spirituality who currently writes and teaches throughout the San Francisco Bay area.