A sincere prayer is the best possible "head" for a good year. Say the Evening Prayer of the first night of Rosh Hashanah, the first prayer of the new year, with extra care. Pay attention to every word and mean it. Identify personally with what you are saying and remember to Whom you are speaking. Try reading each line (or translation of each line) with your eyes before you pronounce it with your lips in order to understand the full depth and ramifications of what you are about to say. If you put in personal requests, concentrate. Be careful not to break the flow of this specially-crafted prayer.

Don't be embarrassed or feel pressured if you are taking much longer to pray than everyone else…

Don't be embarrassed or feel pressured if you are taking much longer to pray than everyone else. This is serious! Many great Jewish personages, who throughout the year were known to start and finish their prayers together with the quorum, would take hours to complete the Standing Prayer on the first night of Rosh Hashanah.


It is customary this evening to exchange blessings for a good year with other Jews. Be sincere. And don't forget to respond "Amen!" strongly when others bless you. Chasidim like to bless each other not only for a good year - "Shana tova" - but also a sweet one - "Shana tova umetuka". The idea is that the good should not only be in G‑d's eyes, but good from our perspective too - e.g. it tastes good.

The High Holiday

Despite the solemnity of the occasion, let us not lose track that Rosh Hashanah is a festival, so it is also an occasion for nice clothes, special meals and good spirits [see Nehemiah 8:9-12].

"Out with the old year and its curses!
In with the new year and its blessings!"

L'shana tova tikateiv v'teikhateim!

May you be inscribed and sealed for a good and sweet year of happiness and growth!

from the staff at Kabbalaonline

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