It's called Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and it’s just days away. The literal meaning of Rosh Hashanah is "head of the year". It marks a new beginning and is celebrated in very unique and visual ways.
We spoke with Rabbi Fabian Werbin of the Beth Israel Synagogue in Roanoke. He played the Shofar instrument which is made from a ram’s horn. Also, the Machzor plays an important role during the holiday. The Jewish prayer book is only used a few times a year. “We open it only for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It has specific prayers for those days...so it makes it really special. We don't pray and we don't worship with that book the rest of the year,” said Rabbi Werbin. The Rabbi says the holiday is extremely important. “I think it's a very good opportunity that we have every single year to reflect on the things we've done and have a message of hope and faith,” he said.
Additionally, while Jews read from the Torah every Sabbath on Saturday, it takes on a special meaning on Rosh Hashanah. Some Jews also take part in what's known as the "Tashlich", a symbolic "casting off" of their sins into a body of water. Typically bread crumbs are thrown into a river where there are fish.
Since fish never close their eyes, that's symbolic of God seeing everything. Some Jews eat the head of a fish which—a gesture that symbolizes being the head and not the tail. Finally, apples and honey represent the beginning of a sweet new year.