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How to Recite Prayers Before Rosh Hashanah Dinner

Celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, includes gathering with others for dinner. Here are the prayers to recite at your holiday table.


  • Step 1: Continue praying for a sweet new year. Have the guests dip apple slices in honey and recite a blessing over them. _Baruch atah adonai eloheinu melech ha'olam borei p'ri ha'eitz_.
  • Step 2: Take a bite from the honey-dipped apple, then say _Y'hi ratzon mil'fanekha adonai eloheinu vei'lohei avoteinu sh't'chadeish aleinu shanah tovah um'tukah_.
  • Step 3: Finished praying? Wish everyone at the table a good year with a hearty _shana tova_ and enjoy your holiday dinner.
  • FACT: Many people eat pomegranates at Rosh Hashanah dinner, since the fruit is believed to have the same number of seeds as there are commandments in the Torah.
  • Step 4: Raise 2 covered round loaves of challah to symbolize the cycle of each year, and recite a prayer over them. _Baruch atah adonai eloheinu melech ha'olam hamotzi lechem min ha'aretz_. Then, tear off a piece of challah for everyone at the dinner table; dip the pieces in honey to symbolize a sweet new year.
  • Step 5: After you finish the kiddush, recite a prayer to commemorate having lived to celebrate Rosh Hashanah again. _Baruch atah adonai eloheinu melech ha'olam shecheyanu, v'kiy'manu, v'higyanu lazman hazeh_.
  • TIP: On Friday nights, add the words _Shabbat v'shel_ before _yom tov_. On Saturday nights, light the candles after _havdalah_, the ceremony that ends Shabbat.
  • Step 6: Hold up a cup of wine or grape juice and say the kiddush, a prayer that sanctifies the liquid. _Baruch atah adonai eloheinu melech ha'olam borei p'ri hagafen_.
  • TIP: For an extended version of the kiddush, consult a Jewish high holiday prayer book.
  • Step 7: Rosh Hashanah begins in the evening. At sunset, light 2 candles, and recite: _Baruch atah adonai eloheinu melech ha'olam asher kidishanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu l'had'lik neir shel yom tov_.

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