Rosh HaShanah

  • Rosh Hashanah Story
  • Tashlich 2
  • Tashlich 1

Rosh HaShanah (“Head of the Year”) is observed on the first day of the month of Tishrei. It marks the beginning of the High Holy Days, which culminates on Yom Kippur. The customs and symbols of Rosh HaShanah reflect the holiday’s emphasis on both happiness and humility. On Rosh HaShanah, we sound the shofar, use round challah, and eat apples and honey for a sweet new year.

S’lichot (“forgiveness”) is the candlelight service marking the Jewish week preceding Rosh HaShanah. Held after sundown on Saturday, this service begins our cheshbon nefesh (“accounting of the soul”) as part of t’shuvah (“return”) to our truest selves. We started with dessert, Havdalah and a worship service; then closed the evening in quiet reflection as the parokhet (ark curtain) and Torah covers were prepared for the coming High Holy Days.

Tashlich (“casting off”) is a symbolic dispersal of our errors to the winds and the sea, after we have begun the process of t’shuvah. Our Tashlich service was held along the flowing waters of the Snohomish River, at the Everett Public Boat Launch, on West Marine View Drive at 10th Street.

Rabbi Rachel Kort and Cantor Ellen Dreskin will lead our 5779 Rosh HaShanah services, including a brief afternoon service targeted toward young children.  We recommended the following books to help prepare for the High Holy Days:

This is Real and You are Completely Unprepared, by Rabbi Allen Lew
Talking to God, by Rabbi Naomi Levy
The Book of Forgiving, by Desmond Tutu
Preparing Your Heart for the High Holy Days, by Rabbi Kerry Olitzky and Rachel T. Sabath


Rosh HaShanah Lunch will include delicious dairy and vegan dishes, lovingly prepared by congregants. Reservations are required and were accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations will be accepted until Tuesday, September 12; no late reservations are accepted. 

Please consider helping Temple Beth Or by purchasing bookplates for our High Holy Days prayer books, in memory of a loved one or in honor of a person or event. The suggested minimum donation per bookplate is $36. Click here to download an order form.

Some of our members have delivered inspiring Divrei Torah during previous Rosh HaShanah services. You can view the text of the D’var Torah delivered by Heidi Piel or Doug Wallis.