For those of you who celebrate Rosh Hashana, I first would like to wish you Shana tova filled with happiness, joy, health, love and peace. Shana m’leh-aht o-sher, seem-kha, b’ree-oot, ah-ha-va v’shalom. שנה מלאת אושר, שמחה, בריאות, אהבה ושלום.
Rosh = head – ראש
ha-sha-na = the year – השנה.
You may have heard people greeting one another with: L’shana tova – לשנה טובה = for a good year – which doesn’t really make sense, doesn’t it? It is not a full sentence and it is being used, as far as I know, only in the USA. Let me clarify the origin of this incomplete thought. The traditional blessing for Rosh HaShana is: l’sha-na to-va tee-ka-te-voo v’te-kha-te-moo = לשנה טובה תכתבו ותחתמו. (more precisely it is used between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur) = You shall be inscribed (in the Book of Life) and sealed FOR a good year. Literally: For a good year you shall be inscribed and sealed. Since it is a tongue twister to say the full wish, people in Israel just say: Shana Tova and elsewhere you would hear: L’shana tova.
Rosh HaShana is a celebration of the new Jewish year which start with the 1st of the month of Tishrei – תשרי – The origin of the word Tishrei is: surru that in Akkadian means: beginning.