Rosh Hashanah begins the Jewish new year, celebrated in a solemn manner beginning at sunset the night before. In the Hebrew calendar, the first day of each year is called "Tishri". Traditionally Rosh Hashanah lasted for two days, but Reform Jews now typically celebrate it for only one day.

Recognition of this Holy Day consists of saying prayers for God's forgiveness and requesting a good year. It is a time of penance, with "The Ten Days of Penitence" beginning on Rosh Hashanah, which is the Day of Judgment, and ending on Yom Kippur, which is the Day of Atonement.

Special dishes are usually prepared in served on the first night of Rosh Hashanah, often using honey to represent the request to God for sweetness in the coming year.

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