Rosh Hashanah is on 1st Tishri. On the Shabbat nearest this date, we hold an Selichot Service, which traditionally should start late. We, as with other communities, tend to start earlier, about 9pm. At this service we change the Torah mantles from their usual coloured ones to white. The Selichot Service is also a choral service and sets the tone for Rosh Hashanah and the 10 Days of Awe which follow, leading to Yom Kippur.
At Rosh Hashanah we have a round challah to show that the world is round and that the years are continuous. We do not put salt on the challah but dip it in honey, as we hope for a sweet new year. We also wish each other l’shanah tovah – a good year.
We also use a different prayer book, a Makzor, which is used only for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services. In our regular prayer book, Siddur Lev Chadash, we have additional prayers during the Amida and these are recited during the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Our tradition is to offer mitzvot to members who have contributed to SPS life during the year, whether on committees, contacting members, regular attendance at Shabbat services or helping with social or other events. We also hold a family service aimed at all ages but primarily for those members who want to bring their children to a service they can understand and be part of.
The sounding of the shofar heralds the start of the Erev Rosh Hashanah service and also forms an important part of the morning service.
Rosh Hashanah concludes with Havdallah.