Like all Jewish holidays, Rosh Hashanah begins on the sunset of the day before, so the festive Rosh Hashanah Dinner is celebrated during that evening. Families gather to celebrate the Rosh Hashanah Dinner with special blessings and the lighting of candles. During this festive meal famileis use their best china and silver, and cover the table with a festive white tablecloth.
The act of candle lighting (Hadlakat Nerot) symbolizes the transition from the regular day to the sacred holiday. The candles (at least two) are lit eighteen minutes before the sunset.
After lighting the candles, both hands are waved towards the face, symbolically drawing in the light of the candles and the sanctity of the holy day. The eyes are covered and the blessing is recited.
"Baruch atah Ado-nai, Ehlo-haynu melech Ha-olam, asher kideshanu b'mitzvotav v'tzeevanu l'hadlik ner shel Yom Tov."
Hebrew: ברוך אתה אדוני, אלוהינו מלך העולם, אשר קידשנו במצוותיו וציוונו להדליק נר של יום טוב.
English: Blessed are you L-rd, our G-d ruler of the world, who sanctified us through His commandments and commanded us to kindle the lights of the holy day.
After the first blessing, a second blessing is recited, called the "Shehechiyanu Blessing":
"Baruch atah Ado-nai, Ehlo-haynu melech Ha-olam, she'he'che'yanu v'kee'manu, v'hee'gee'anu la'zman ha'zeh."
Hebrew: ב??רו?ך? א?ת??ה י?י?, א?ל?ה?ינו? מ?ל?ך? ה?עו?ל?ם, ש??ה?ח?י?ינו? ו?ק?י??מ?נו? ו?ה?ג??יע?נו? ל?ז??מ?ן ה?ז??ה.
English: Blessed are you L-rd, our G-d ruler of the world, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season.
"Barukh atah Adonai, Elohaynu, melekh ha-olam, borei p?riy ha-gafen."
Hebrew: ב??רו?ך? א?ת??ה י?י? א?ל?ה?ינו? מ?ל?ך? ה?עו?ל?ם, ב?ו?ר?א פ??ר?י ה?ג??פ?ן.
English: Blessed are You, Lord, our God, king of the universe who creates the fruit of the vine.
"Barukh atah Adonai, Elohaynu, melekh ha-olam, asher bachar banu mee-kol am, v'rom'manu mee-kol lashon v'kee'd'shanu b'meetzvotav, va-teeten lanu, Adonai Elohaynu, b'ahavah et yom [ha-shabbat ha-zeh v'et yom] ha-zikkaron ha-zeh, yom zikhron t'ruah b'b'ahavah [b'ahava] meekra kodesh, zeicher leetzeeyat meetz'rayeem, kiy vanu vacharta v?otanu qidashta mikol ha?amiym, u'd'var'kha emet v'qayam la'ad."
Hebrew: ב??רו?ך? א?ת??ה י?י?, א?ל?ה?ינו? מ?ל?ך? ה?עו?ל?ם, א?ש??ר ב??ח?ר ב??נו? מ?כ??ל ע?ם, ו?רו?מ?מ?נו? מ?כ??ל ל?ש?ו?ן, ו?ק?ד??ש??נו? ב??מ?צ?ו?ת?יו. ו?ת??ת??ן ל?נו? י?י? א?ל?ה?ינו? ב??א?ה?ב?ה א?ת יו?ם ה?ז??כ??רו?ן ה?ז??ה, ו?א?ת יו?ם טו?ב מ?ק?ר?א ק?ד?ש? ה?ז??ה. יו?ם ת??רו?ע?ה ב??א?ה?ב?ה מ?ק?ר?א ק?ד?ש? ז?כ?ר ל?יצ?יא?ת מ?צ?ר?י?ם. ו?ד?ב?ר?ך? מ?ל?כ??נו? א?מ?ת ו?ק?י??ם ל?ע?ד. ב??רו?ך? א?ת??ה י?י?, מ?ל?ך? ע?ל כ??ל ה?א?ר?ץ, מ?ק?ד??ש? י?ש??ר?א?ל ו?יו?ם ה?ז??כ??רו?ן.
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, king of the universe who has chosen us from among all people, and exalted us above every tongue and sanctified us with His commandments, and you gave us, Lord our God, with love this day of [Sabbath and this day of] remembrance, a day of [remembrance of] shofar blowing [with love] a holy convocation, a memorial of the exodus from Egypt. Indeed, You have chosen us and made us holy from all peoples and Your word is true and established for ever. Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King over all the world, Who sanctifies [the Sabbath] and Israel and the Day of
You should place two loaves of Challah Bread on the Rosh Hashanah table, and cover them with a cloth. Round Challahs are even better (to symbolize a perfect, cyclical year to come), and Challah with raisins are sometimes used for added sweetness.
One of the things found on almost every Rosh Hashanah table are apples cut into slices and honey. It is customery to eat a slice of apple dipped in honey, and recite two blessings while doing so:
Blessing over Fruit:
"Baruch atah Ado-nai, Ehlo-haynu melech Ha-olam, Borai p'ree ha'aitz."
Hebrew: ב??רו?ך? א?ת??ה י?י?, א?ל?ה?ינו? מ?ל?ך? ה?עו?ל?ם, ב?ו?ר?א פ??ר?י ה?ע?ץ.
English: Blessed are you Lord, our God, Ruler of the world, Creator of the fruit of the tree.
After taking a bite of the apple, the following prayer is recited.
"Y'hee ratzon mee-l'fanekha, Adonai Elohaynu v'elohey avoteynu sh'tichadeish aleinu shanah tovah um'tuqah."
Hebrew: י?ה?י ר?צו?ן מ?ל??פ?נ?יך? י?י? א?ל?ה?ינו? ו?אל?ה?י א?בו?ת?ינו?, ש??ת??ת?ח?ד??ש? ע?ל?ינו? ש??נ?ה טו?ב?ה ו?מ?תו?ק?ה
English: May it be Your will, Hashem, our God and the God of our forefathers, that You renew for us a good and sweet year.