The traditional greeting for Rosh Hashanah is customarily extended between Jewish people on the first evening of Rosh Hashanah.

Traditional Greetings - The traditional Rosh Hashanah greeting is as follows in transliterated Hebrew: "L'shanah tovah" or "L'shana tova" in Hebrew. What is the meaning of L'shanah tovah or L'shana tova? L'shanah tovah or L'shana tova means "for a good year". This traditional Rosh Hashanah greeting is actually a truncated or shortened version of a longer Rosh Hashanah greeting which is as follows: "L'shanah tovah tikatev v'taihatem" (when speaking to men) or "L'shanah tovah tikatevi v'taihatemi" (when speaking to women). Both these longer versions of the traditional Rosh Hashanah greeting mean "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year". Another way of stating the traditional Rosh Hashanah greeting is as follows: "Le-Shanah Tovah (or Le-Shana Tova) Tikkathev (or Tikkathevu)" or "Le-Shanah Tovah (or Le-Shana Tova) Tekatevu (or Tikatevu, both either with one or two k's; also the "ev" is sometimes transliterated as "ayv" or "ayyv")". All of the aforementioned transliterations mean: "May you be written down (in the Book of Life) for a good year". Another way of transliterating this is as follows: "May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for a good year". Sephardic Jews (Jews whose ancestors came from Spain and/or Portugal) state another version of the traditional Rosh Hashanah greeting as follows: "May you be inscribed for a good year; may you be worthy of abundant years". Why say L'shanah tovah or L'shana tova? Jewish people believe that the destinies of all people for the upcoming year are written down by G-d in a book. Judaism believes that the names of those who are good are immediately written down by G-d on Rosh Hashanah as being good and for life, while those who are bad are blotted out on Rosh Hashanah and are blotted out forever, however, the decision by G-d regarding those that are in-between, neither good nor bad, is reserved until 8 days after Rosh Hashanah on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which is the day on which the lot and fate of each person are determined in accordance with each one's repentance (Yom Kippur is 8 days after Rosh Hashanah for those who celebrate Rosh Hashanah for 2 days - Reform Jews and Reconstructionist Jews celebrate Rosh Hashanah for 1 day and so for them, Yom Kippur is 9 days after Rosh Hashanah).

A variation on the aforementioned traditional Rosh Hashanah greeting is as follows in transliterated Hebrew: "Shana Tova Umetukah" or "Shanah Tovah Umetuka" which means, for "A Good and Sweet Year".

Customs of Rosh Hashanah
Shofar
Traditional Greetings
Shehecheyanu or Shechecheyanu Blessing
Foods
Seder
Readings From Scripture
Liturgical Poems - Piyutim
Tashlich - Tashlikh - Tashlik
Wearing White

To go to the Rosh Hashanah home page, just click the "Rosh Hashanah" link below:

Rosh Hashanah
Click To E-Mail Us Here!
Tell A Friend About Our Jewish Holidays / Passover Website!
Bookmark Our Jewish Holidays / Passover Website!
Netscape Users: Press Ctrl + d to bookmark our Jewish Holidays / Passover Website!
Mac Users: Press Apple + d to bookmark our Jewish Holidays / Passover Website!