The scriptural commandment is simply to have a sacred memorial assembly, blow trumpets, cease from labor, and present an offering.
No explanation is given in scripture as a reason for the holiday.
Tradition holds that Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the world. Though Tishri is the seventh month of the biblical
calendar, it is considered the first month of the Jewish civil year.
This holiday is observed as a time of repentance and prayer for forgiveness. It is characterized by introspection and reaffirmation
of faith. The shofar, a ram's horn, is blown, as a reminder for people to turn back to God.
According to tradition, during the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a repentant, righteous person is inscribed in the
Book of Life for that year. The wicked are inscribed in the book of death. Others are kept in suspension until Yom Kippur.
Tradition also suggests that this is the day that Abraham bound his son Isaac upon the altar, an image which is also connected to the
sounding of the shofar.
It is customary to wish others a good and sweet new year, and to eat apples dipped in honey as a symbol of that sweetness.