1. For the student to acquire the following knowledge:

    • (a) That the first of Tishrei is the New Year for calculating years, for counting the Shmittah (Sabbatical or seventh) and Yovel (Jubilee or fiftieth) years, for planting (trees) and for tithing vegetables. Mishnah Rosh Hashanah 1:1.
    • (b) That Rosh Hashanah is the Day of Judgement for the entire world.
    • (c) That Rosh Hashanah is a day of rest from occupation, holy Assembly, and of blowing the Shofar.
    • (d) ThatAdam was created on Rosh Hashanah (according to Rabbi Eliezer).

2. The student should recognise the essential idea of Rosh Hashanah as the day on which we proclaim G-d to be the Supreme King (i.e. ruler and supreme judge) over us, and the entire world.

3. The student should be familiar with the prayers of Rosh Hashanah, and, in particular, that they include: the blowing of the Shofar; the three sections of malchuyot, zichronot, shofarot; and Tashlich.

4. The student should understand the ten reasons (according to Rabbi Saadiah Gaon) for blowing the Shofar.

5. The student should be familiar with some of the principal laws related to blowing of the Shofar, such as the types of notes, the length of each, the order of sounds, and where they are placed in the service.

6. Each student should review his or her past deeds and attempt to set things right, so that he or she can approach the Day of Judgement with a clear mind. Although the Torah sets down the law about blowing the Shofar without a reason, there is a suggestion that its purpose is so that people wake up from their sleep, reflect upon their deeds, atone for what is wrong, and repent. (Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Repentance, 6:4).

7. The student should understand the four stages of Teshuvah (repentance): remorse, asking forgiveness, abandoning the sin, resolution to mend our ways in the future.

8. The student should know that the special foods we eat on Rosh Hashanah (apple with honey, pomegranate, head of a fish, sweetened carrots, dates, beetroot) are symbolic of our hope for a good year, in which our enemies leave us alone. .





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02 Jan 2006 / 2 Tevet 5766 0