Rosh Hashana is the holiday that marks the beginning of a new year in the Hebrew calendar. Rosh Hashana is celebrated as a two-day holiday that starts on the first day of the Hebrew month Tishrei (see Hebrew Calendar). The word rosh (ראש) in Hebrew means 'head' or 'beginning', and the word shana (שנה) means 'year' as a noun. The 'ha-' prefix is the definite article similar to 'the' in English. As a verb, the word שנה, means to repeat or to change.
Rosh Hashana marks the beginning of ten days of repentance (עשרת ימי תשובה) that culminate with the Yom Kippur (יום כיפור) that is considered the day of judgment for the new year.
Mention of Rosh Hashana in the Torah
- And in the seventh month, on the first day, there shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall not perform any mundane work. It shall be a day of shofar sounding for you.