The year 5784 in the Jewish calendar begins at sundown on Friday, Sept. 15, with Rosh Hashanah 2023 services at San Diego-area congregations.
Congregation Beth Israel, the largest Jewish congregation in San Diego and the oldest in Southern California, is holding services at its sanctuary and streaming them online for those who can’t attend in person or live outside of San Diego.
Rosh Hashanah means literally “head of the year” in Hebrew. It marks the beginning of a 10-day period of prayer, self-examination, and repentance ending with Yom Kippur, which is known as the Day of Atonement.
The year begins at sundown because the ancient Jewish calendar is based on phases of the moon.
Customs observed on Rosh Hashanah include sounding the shofar, a musical instrument made from a ram’s horn, and eating apples and honey for a sweet new year.
Tashlich, another practice associated with Rosh Hashanah, is a ceremony in which Jews symbolically cast away their sins by tossing pieces of bread into a flowing body of water, with many congregations meeting at local beaches.