top of page
Ceremonies /
Rosh Hashana
Chapters of Recitation and Poetry

Compiled & edited by Ayala Gilad

The festive table is decorated with two holiday candles and a round braided Challah bread, symbolizing the year's cycle: small bowls with apples and honey, pomegranate seeds, beets, carrots and fish heads, the head of the family stands up and greets all the guests and asks them to fill their glasses with Kiddush wine or grape juice for children.


The head of the family reads the Kiddush for Rosh Hashanah:

"Attention, Ladies & Gentlemen. Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has chosen us from among all nations, raised us above all tongues, and made us holy through His commandments. And You, Lord our God, have given us in love this Day of Remembrance, the festival of holy assembly, commemorating the Exodus from Egypt. Blessed are You Lord, King over all the earth, who sanctifies Israel and the Day of Remembrance.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this occasion. Lechayim!

(invites all seated to taste a little bit from each fruit and vegetable and bless out loud along with him)

(takes a slice of apple and dips it in honey) – "May it be Your will, Lord our God and the God of our fathers, that You renew for us a year good and sweet like honey from beginning to end".

(tastes the pomegranate seeds) – "May it be Your will, Lord our God and the God of our fathers, that we'll be full of good deeds like the pomegranate"

(tastes the beet) – "May it be Your will, Lord our God and the God of our fathers, that all your haters and enemies and those who seek to harm us disappear"

(tastes the carrot) – "May it be Your will, Lord our God and the God of our fathers, that you will tear our bad sentencing and that our credits  be read before you".

(places his hands over the fish head and all recite with him) – "May it be Your will, Lord our God and the God of our fathers, that we’ll be the head and no the tail".

(You can continue with the children and paraphrase on other elements such as: garlic – I shall not do anything bad; Celery – abundance, livelihood (Salary) and more).


The head of the family (starts a collection of well-known songs for the holiday to "warm up" the atmosphere when the whole crowd joins):


Rosh Hashanah

Lyrics: Levin Kipnis

Melody: Nahum Nardi


A year has gone a year is coming

I will raise my hands.

Shanah Tova to you father,

Shanah Tova to you mother.

Shanah Tova, Shanah Tova.


Shanah Tova to a hero uncle,

who is on guard

to every guard in the city, in the village

“be strong” blessing is delivered

Shanah Tova, Shanah Tova.


Shanah Tova to each laborer

in the field and in concrete

a good sweet year

to every boy and girl.

Shanah Tova, Shanah Tova.

The head of the family: We are gathered here to welcome the New Year in a way that attempts to combine the traditional-religious path of grandfathers - home which was practiced in the Diaspora for thousands of years - and the new content that was poured into the holiday by our parents. To take the most significant and beautiful of the two worlds and combine them into one tractate. A small step in an attempt to re-create our Judaism. In the sense of trans-generations continuity and novelty, and what symbolizes our connection to the past more of the following two poems:


Here we have an old melody

Lyrics: Nahum Sternheim

Melody: Folk

From Yiddish: Shimshon Meltzer


Here we have an old melody,

Let's not shame it, let's not shame it

Let us sing, let us remind

The old days

When it was sung

By grandma and grandpa

When they were babies too.

Here, like this, it is a melody of pleasure

And with joy, with joy dance together

Here, like this, it is a melody of pleasure

Let us come out with joy.


"In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall be a solemn rest unto you, a memorial proclaimed with the blast of horns, a holy convocation." (Leviticus, 23)

"Blow the horn at the new moon, at the full moon for our feast-day. For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob." (Psalms, 81)

"Blow a great shofar to our freedom, and let us gather together our exiles and bring our dispersion among the nations and our people from the back of the land, and bring us to commemorate your city in Rina and to Jerusalem, Your Temple in Simchat Olam." (From prayer)

"Rabbi Abahu said:" Why do you blow the shofar of a ram? "The Holy One, Blessed is He said," Blow the shofar of a ram before me to remind me of the binding of Isaac son of Abraham "

(Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Rosh Hashanah, 32)


First circle – repenting and forgiveness


The head of the family: The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the ten days of repentance - the repentance of a person from his bad deeds, the recognition of his sins and his adherence to the path of righteousness are the primary meaning of the holiday. How can one derive a person's fate 10 days before the appointed time for the atonement of his sins?

"… Three books are opened [in heaven] on New Year, one for the thoroughly wicked, one for the thoroughly righteous, and one for the intermediate. The thoroughly righteous are forthwith inscribed definitively in the book of life; the thoroughly wicked are forthwith inscribed definitively in the book of death; the doom of the intermediate is suspended from New Year till the Day of Atonement; if they deserve well, they are inscribed in the book of life; if they do not deserve well, they are inscribed in the book of death.

(Rabbi Yohanan, Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Rosh Hashanah)


Since most of the people are "intermediate", Rosh Hashanah became a day of Prayer and request for forgiveness and absolution of sins.


Permission is granted for every person: If he wishes to divert himself to a good path and to be righteous – he has permission; and if he wishes to divert himself to evil and to be evil, he has permission. It is written in the Torah: " 'Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil" (Genesis, 3:22) (Rambam, Mishneh Torah)


"Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah expounded: “From all your sins before the Lord, you will be purified” (Leviticus 16:30),  for sins that are between man and God, Yom Kippur provides atonement, but for sins that are between man and fellow man Yom Kippur does not provide atonement until he pacifies his fellow man." (Mishneh Yoma, 8)

In order to be forgiven, we must get the forgiveness of the friend whom we sinned against. The sinner is commanded to return and ask for forgiveness until he is forgiven, but the friend too, is commanded to forgive immediately. If his friend does not forgive him, he will go back to him for a second and third time, and will often send him friends who will plea that he forgives him.

"And not be a cruel person not to forgive, but will forgive him immediately" (Shulchan Aruch, 131:4)


LORD, who shall sojourn in Thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell upon Thy holy mountain?

He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh truth in his heart;

That hath no slander upon his tongue, nor doeth evil to his fellow, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor;

He that putteth not out his money on interest, nor taketh a bribe against the innocent. (Psalms, 15)



Lyrics: Yom Kippur prayer

Music: Yair Rosenbloom

(composed after Yom Kiippur War)


Let us proclaim the sanctity of this day,

a day whose holiness awakes deepest awe and inspires highest praise for Your dominion, for Your throne is a throne of love; Your reign is a reign of truth.

And all the people of the world will go before you as Bnei – Maron.

Like a shepherd inspecting its herd

Passing them under his whip

So you will pass and count

Every living soul

And you will cut an allowance for all your beings

And write their sentence".


Our father, our king (from the prayer)


Our father, our king, our father our king,

Our father our king, be gracious and answer us,

for we have little merit.

Treat us generously and with kindness, and be our help.

Treat us generously and with kindness, and be our help.


Brighten Our Eyes

Lyrics: from the prayer

Music: R. Shlomo Karlibach


Brighten our eyes with your Torah,

and bend our hearts to your Commandments.


And unite our hearts to love

and fear your name.


So we shall never be ashamed

nor abashed

nor foul, forever and ever.


Purify our hearts

Lyrics & music: tradition

(in memory of grandfather Gedaliahu and grandfather Yehuda)


And purify our heart, purify our heart

Purify our heart to truly worship you

Purify our heart to worship you, worship you, worship you,

Truly worship you.


Who is the man (Psalms 34)


Who is the man that desireth life,

and loveth days, that he may see good therein?

Keep thy tongue from evil,

and thy lips from speaking guile

Depart from evil, and do good;

seek peace, and pursue it.


For the sin

Aryeh Uri


For the sin that I have sinned in my composure

For not daring to touch

For not listening to all the sounds

For not grooming the infants

For the sin that I did not taste from all the wines

For not discarding the insignificant

For not deciphering the secrets

For not overcoming the anxieties

For the sin that I did not erase the tears of babies

For not listening to the silence

For not distinguishing between lusts

For the sin that I did not love all the loves

For the sin that I did not delight the pleas

For not keeping the old people's words

For sin I kept silent the cries

For the sin that I did not offend the smooth - talkers

For the sin that I did not strum on the strings

For the sin that I was not shaken by secret weeping

For the sin that I did not remember that we should not forget

For the sin that I have not forgotten to forgive.


I too

Nai, Araidi


I too, was in Jerusalem

In the western wall

I am not religious.

My only prayer

In all the notes that turned to songs,

Is to keep

The human honor within me

The human image within me

The love in my heart.


When we arrive

Lyrics: Ali Mohar

Music: Greek (A. Kundis)


Time will put the years to flight,

and puts a little understanding in the heart,

but there are things that it still doesn't reveal to me.

Will another lily bloom for me,

will an old spark awaken within me?

at the end of the day, does an answer await me?


And how will we know if there is hope.

That when we will arrive, we will find an answer.


Where does the path continue,

where does the prayer go,

and who will answer the question,

who will hear me?

And who will open his heart to me,

and if I go, where will I arrive?

at the end of the day, does an answer await me?


And how will we know ….


It's just me and you,

it's so much and so very little,

and how will we know our lives weren't empty?

Have we worked for nothing,

will our house (not) be destroyed,

will love survive even after us?


And how will we know ….


Rejoice and be happy in the joy of the holiday ….

(during the singing the food is served to the table)


Bon Appetite


Second circle – the changing seasons of the year

"and we began our song right from the start"


(As soon as the meal ends)

The head of the family: Rosh Hashana is the holiday of a new year on the Hebrew calendar. The cycle of the year is closed, the summer is dying and man and Earth long for rain.

We change a calendar, move a page and start our song from the start. (He rises and asks all the people to fill their glasses with wine)

We will raise a second glass for the changing years. A year and its sigh will end, and a year and its blessing will begin. Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.


The twelve months

Lyrics & Melody: Naomi Shemer


In Tishrei the palm tree gave

a cute dark brown fruit.

in Cheshvan the first rain fell

and danced on my roof.


In Kislev a daffodil appeared

in Tevet - hail,

and in Shevat the sun broke through

for one day.


In Adar a fragrance rose

from the orchards.

In Nisan all the sickles

were strongly wielded.


In Iyar - everything grew,

in Sivan - ripening.

In Tamuz & Av we rejoiced

after the harvest.


Tishrei, Cheshvan, Kislev, Tevet,

passed, went by in a rush.

Also Shevat, Adar, Nisan, Iyar,

Sivan, Tamuz and Av.


And in the coming of Elul to us

the fragrance of autumn rose,

and we began our song

right from the start.


Summer has passed

Lyrics: S. Bas


The summer passed, the great heat

A new year comes to all

The winds are blowing, the birds are wandering

The cold days are coming and going


Look and see yesterday's little things

The summer passed and I'm already grown

A new year started today

Be a good one and your arrival for peace.


"… One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; and the earth abideth forever.

The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he ariseth." (Ecclesiastes, 1:4-5)


"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven -

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 

A time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew;

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace."

(Ecclesiastes, 3)


"Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said" (explains to Job how hard it is to manage the orders of the world and control the power of nature):

"Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast the understanding?" (who defined its borders)

"Whereupon were the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner-stone thereof?" (who was the one who set its foundations and commenced its construction)

"And said (to the sea): 'Thus far shalt thou come, but no further; and here shall thy proud waves be stayed'?" (separates between sea and land)

"Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days began, and caused the dayspring to know its place;" (separates darkness from light, day from night)

"Hath the rain a father? Or who hath begotten the drops of dew?" (controlling the weather, the rain and the blessing of the earth)

"Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lioness? Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions?

Who provideth for the raven his prey, {N}

when his young ones cry unto God, and wander for lack of food?" (nature's cycle of life, the balance between the eater and the eaten)

(Job, 38)


Once again we begin

Natan Yonatan


Once again we begin, everyone begins

The plowing man, the gatherer, the poet, the leaves

That fall with the wind, the dew – pearls

And the wave returning to its steep shores.


Also beginning, of course, are the months of the year:

Tishrei, Cheshvan and Kislev.

A new fragrant autumn sits in the garden,

Looking at the passing summer.

And sees how the apples gardens

Are awfully tired after the picking.

How the wind invades the chilly pool,

And draws wrinkles on its face.

And the rain of Tevet is already coming

Followed by the month of Shevat and its flowers,

And a hesitant Adar, opens a zipper

To the heat wave of Nisan.

Last rain drops, and Iyar

Licking and stepping already on the mountain ridge;

and Sivan of course, and hasty Tammuz...

And our calendar is coming to an end.

Then comes the month of Av, a lover in his ways

With its sun it sheds lakes of gold

And the night is full of crickets and a star

summery and wild and hot ...

Then Elul, the last of the steep slope,

With its short days and breathing with its dewy night

Another blow

Another cheer

More fractions, and a circle -

The year that passed will be closed in the lock.

Re-starting Why not? Why, is that bad?

Time, too, sometimes confuses the counting

The wave to the shore also seeks to return

The singing box sings its song once more.

We'll start over again, everyone starts

We will play the song in the same words,

Which never tire, like waves

Who return without stopping

From the Great Sea

To the sands of steep beaches.


End of summer

Lyrics: Haya Vered

Music: Yair Rosenbloom


Summer has already passed

already pouncing above it

are the swans clouds in a chain

the thistle has wilted

and the column of rain

beyond the horizon stands.


The world is in bloom,

but the heart still listens

to the gloom connected with the eye

When the summer had passed

and from the ground is drawn

the white blade of a squill.


In the gardens

Earth has already counted its children

In the granaries

The hay on itself had been piled

In the avenues

In the fences

The sheep put on their wool

In the vineyards

The vines fold their leaves

In the furrows

the soil browns line to line

At the heights

The nights are already over them

in the oppressed

The flute of the wind was seized.

Because summer has passed

Because floating over it

is the hidden sail of winter:

The days are getting shorter

longing and sorrow as a String ...

and a farmer expects it

how on the cold morning,

summer is turning its back,

and a piece of land,

his blood in its blood

awaits the seeds and rain.



Lyrics: Itamar Prat

Music: Naomi Shemer


Gather the deeds

The words and the symbols

Like a blessed harvest too heavy to carry

Gather the blossoms

That ripened into memories

Of summer that prematurely passed on

Gather all the images of her beautiful face

As the fruit and the grain.

The earth is gray beneath the stalks

And it can’t give you anything more

There is no more stem dreaming about its ear

There is no more “ Nedarai Ve’asurai”

Only the wind's promise that the rain will in time

Rebuild the dust at the end of Tishrei.


For the year leaving our home

Hanan Shadmi


For the year leaving our home

We'll carry our greeting in peace.

We'll remember you, sister, all our days

Walking with us every day.

We will remember all the good we have had

The charm and grace we will remember,

We adopted you because we turned

Always with our faces to the light.

Stay one more night with us

We'll raise our glasses with song.

Tonight at our house

A new year begins.


Third circle – Come in peace, New Year 

Head of the family: After we parted from the year that passed, and counted all its dates, seasons and months, it is time to bless the coming year and to express our best wishes and prayers to the individual and to all. Before that, let's raise a third glass to:

"A New Year, The Door Is Open – Come I peace,  Happy New Year". (He rises and asks all the people to fill their glasses with wine)

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

(Invites each of the participant, blesses himself and anyone who wishes to be blessed)

More >
bottom of page