We’re officially already almost done with September. September is the start of autumn, back-to-school season, Hispanic + Latinx Heritage Month, and is also typically when the Jewish High Holy Days fall. Because Jewish holidays are based on the lunisolar calendar, they land on different days each year — leaving many to wonder when the Jewish holidays are once September rolls around. Both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are observed this time of year. In 2022, Rosh Hashanah starts on the evening of September 25th and runs through 27th, while Yom Kippur starts on the evening of October 4th and runs through October 5th. We’ve covered what you need to know about the Jewish High Holy Days — including how to observe both in Essex County and the North Jersey area. Read on to learn more about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur 2022 — including where to buy challah, bagels, apples, + other holiday treats.
All About Rosh Hashanah
In Judaism, holidays begin on the evening before the day is observed. The reason for this stems back to the Creation story — it’s believed that God created night before day, so nighttime is viewed as being the start of the following day. The book of Genesis reads, “And it was evening, and it was morning; day one.” According to the Torah, every day begins with the night before. This is why Shabbat dinner is held on Friday nights even though Saturday is the Sabbath.
Rosh Hashanah is the official Jewish new year and is one of the holiest days in the whole religion. It starts on the first day of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Jewish Calendar. During Rosh Hashanah, it is customary for Jews to eat apples dipped in honey to symbolize a sweet new year. Challah bread, which is eaten frequently in many Jewish families, is also served in a round or spiral shape rather than the usual long loaf. People have different interpretations for this, but many say it’s meant to symbolize continuity, the circle of life, and/or progress. Jews wish each other l’shana tova on Rosh Hashanah, which translates to, “For a good year.”
Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, also known as Yamim Noraim or the Days of Repentance. During these 10 days, which end with Yom Kippur, Jews are meant to reflect on their past mistakes and repent. It’s believed that God keeps a book on who will live and who will die for the upcoming year — on Rosh Hashanah it is written, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed, meaning Jews have these 10 days to make good decisions before the book is closed.
We are currently in the year 5782, with the year 5783 being welcomed in the coming weeks.
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This year, Rosh Hashanah will be observed starting the evening of September 25th and will run through the evening of Tuesday, September 27th. Montclair Public Schools will be closed on Monday, September 26th and Tuesday, September 27th.
All About Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur closes out the Days of Awe and is one of the most solemn and holiest days of the year in the Jewish religion. Yom Kippur is a day of atonement, and observant Jews must fast (abstaining from food + drink) for a full 24 hours from sundown to sundown. The day is meant to be spent in prayer, mediation, and personal reflection — as well as seeking forgiveness and giving forgiveness for all past sins.
The day culminates in a big break fast with friends and family. Ashkenazi Jews typically eat brunch-style foods like bagels and lox, while Sephardic Jews often prefer light breads and savory meats. The idea is to try to eat something filling and satisfying without upsetting the stomach after the fast.
This year, Yom Kippur starts on the evening of October 4th and runs through October 5th. Montclair Public Schools will be closed Wednesday, October 5th.
Local Ideas for Observing Rosh Hashanah + Yom Kippur
When it comes to purchasing apples + honey for Rosh Hashanah, local farmers’ markets are a great way to go. We’ve rounded up farmers’ markets in Essex County as well as the greater North Jersey area to get the freshest apples and local honey.
Many pick-your-own apple farms are also opening up in September for a fun family gathering prior to Rosh Hashanah — because nothing beats hand-picked, fresh local apples.
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Many grocery stores sell challah, especially around the High Holy Days — but here are some local North Jersey spots that sell challah bread:
- Bovella’s Pastry Shoppe: 101 E Broad Street, Westfield
- Cait & Abby’s Bakery: 15 Sloan Street, South Orange
- Liv Breads Artisan Bakery and Coffee Bar: 184 Essex Street, Millburn
- Marcel Bakery and Kitchen: 631 1/2 Valley Road, Montclair
- Zadies Kosher Bake Shop: 19-09 Fair Lawn Avenue, Fair Lawn
For the Yom Kippur break fast, here are our picks for some of the best bagel shops in Montclair — many of which also sell favorites like white fish salad, lox, tuna fish, and more. Hobby’s in Newark is also one of the best and most reputable Jewish delis in the area. Mikki and Al’s Noshery at 14 Park Street in Montclair is another great local Jewish deli.
Many synagogues have started live-streaming their services during the pandemic era, so for those looking to observe without leaving their homes, keep an eye out on your local temple’s website for details.
From all of us at Team MG, we wish everyone who is celebrating an early l’shana tova.