Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew: ראש השנה, literally “head [of] the year”), is the Jewish New Year. It is the first of the High Holy Days or Yamim Nora’im (“Days of Awe”) which usually occur in the early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere. Rosh Hashanah is a two-day celebration, which begins on the first day of Tishrei. The day is believed to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and their first actions toward the realization of mankind’s role in God’s world. Rosh Hashanah customs include sounding the shofar (a hollowed-out ram’s horn) and eating symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey to evoke a “sweet new year”.
It is thought that the whole universe is judged during the ten Days of Awe between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. There are three Books: the Book of Life, in which the truly righteous of all nations are inscribed; the Book of Death, in which the fate of the truly evil who do not repent is sealed; and the third Book, which constitutes the majority, whose prayers toward G-d and acts of charity, kindness, and forgiveness toward others during this period may “persuade” G-d to inscribe them in the Book of Life for the coming year. On Rosh Hashanah, it is written; on Yom Kippur, it is sealed. However, the good deeds must be honest and sincere, not selfishly performed, to seek forgiveness from G-d and, equally as important, from other people. If one has wronged others, one must attempt to seek pardon directly from the injured party. Judaism is mainly an orthoprax religion much more than an orthodox one. That is, behavior matters more than faith since it is believed that all the good intentions in the world will not do much good if one does not attempt to follow through by means of transforming that inner feeling of love into tangible acts of charity.
I know I am late to this thread (I work on a farm and we are into heavy harvest. Im too tired to spend much time online) but I want to thank you, Meltzerboy, for I learn so much from you about Judaism. And that is important to me.