Rosh Hashanah Santa Monica

Rosh Hashanah – The two-day festival of Rosh Hashanah is observed on the 1st and 2nd days of Tishrei.  In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, “Head of the Year,” and as its name indicates, it is the beginning of the Jewish year. The anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, it is the birthday of mankind, highlighting the special relationship between G‑d and humanity.


The primary theme of the day is our acceptance of G‑d as our King


The primary theme of the day is our acceptance of G‑d as our King. The Kabbalists teach that the renewal of G‑d’s desire for the world, and thus the continued existence of the universe, is dependent upon this. We accept G‑d as our King, and G‑d is aroused, once again, with the desire to continue creating the world for one more year.

Much of the day is spent in synagogue. G‑d not only desires to have a world with people, G‑d wants an intimate relationship with each one of us. In addition to the collective aspects of Rosh Hashanah worship, each man and woman personally asks G‑d to accept the coronation, thus creating the bond of “We are Your people and You are our King.”

The central observance of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the shofar, the ram’s horn. The shofar is sounded on both days of Rosh Hashanah (unless the first day of the holiday falls on Shabbat, in which case we only sound the shofar on the second day). The sounding of the shofar represents, among other things, the trumpet blast of a people’s coronation of their king. The cry of the shofar is also a call to repentance; for Rosh Hashanah is also the anniversary of man’s first sin and his repentance thereof, and serves as the first of the “Ten Days of Repentance” which will culminate in Yom Kipper the Day of Atonement. Altogether, we listen to 100 shofar blasts over the course of the Rosh Hashanah Santa Monica service.


Rosh Hashanah in Santa Monica


Additional Rosh Hashanah observances include:

We eat a piece of apple dipped in honey to symbolize our desire for a sweet year, as well as many other special foods. All have special significance and symbolize sweetness, blessings, and abundance.


We bless one another with the words Leshanah tovah tikateiv veteichateim, “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.”


We leave our old shortcomings behind us, thus starting the new year with a clean slate


We at Chabad of Santa Monica we go to the ocean and recite the Tashlich prayers, where we symbolically cast our sins into the water, in evocation of the verse, “And You shall cast their sins into the depths of the sea.” We leave our old shortcomings behind us, thus starting the new year with a clean slate. About Tashlich.


And as with every major Jewish holiday, women light candles on each evening of Rosh Hashanah and recite the appropriate blessings. After the prayers each night and morning, we recite Kiddush on wine, make a blessing over the challah, and enjoy a festive repast

More things to-do for Rosh Hashanah in Santa Monica

Ask for Help

On the day before Rosh Hashanah it is customary to visit the graves of tzaddikim (righteous, saintly people) and pray for a sweet new year. Asking the tzaddikim to intercede On High on our behalf, and pray to G‑d to have mercy on us in the merit of these righteous people at whose resting places we are standing.

Visit a Mikvah

It is customary for men to visit a mikvah (ritual pool) on this day, to be purified before entering the High Holy Days. Speak to a Rabbi to find out mikvah hours in the Santa Monica area.


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Buy a New Knife

Some have the tradition of purchasing a new knife before Rosh Hashanah.



“If you only knew the power of verses of Psalms and their effect in the highest Heavens, you would recite them constantly. Know that the chapters of Psalms shatter all barriers, they ascend higher and still higher with no interference; they prostrate themselves in supplication before the Master of all worlds, and they effect and accomplish with kindness and compassion” — Rabbi Menachem Mendel, 3rd Chabad Rebbe.

On the day before Rosh Hashanah, every spare moment should be spent reciting Psalms. Thus, one already enters the new year with a clean slate. The continuous Psalms recitation should continue throughout the 48 hours of Rosh Hashanah.


A Quick story on Rosh Hashanah


“A night of Coronation”


Rabbi Yosef Dov Soleveitchik related: When I learned in cheder, in the village of Chaslavitch, a day before Rosh Hashanah, one could recognize in my teacher, who was a Chabad Chassid, an unaccustomed feeling and joy. We students were very amazed at this, until our teacher said to us, “Do you know what tomorrow evening is? Tomorrow will be Rosh Hashanah, and among Chassidim the night of Rosh Hashanah is called ‘Karanatzia Nacht‘ (‘Coronation Night’), when we place a crown on the head of G-d, so to speak. And do you know who places the crown? Yankel the Tailor and Berel the Shoemaker . . .”

Over the years I have said many sermons and written many discourses on the concepts of Rosh Hashanah, but nothing ever made me feel the theme of the holiday as the words of that teacher. Every year, when I pray: “Rule over the whole world in Your glory,” I remember them.


Chabad Santa Monica Synagogue – Living Torah Center

1130 Wilshire Blvd.

Santa Monica, Ca 90401


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