Jewish Tradition for Rosh Hashanah

Text: Every Rosh Hashanah, the informant throws a piece of bread into a body of water, which Symbolizes getting rid of their sins. When the informant does this ritual, which he has always performed with his immediate family, you talk about what you did wrong last year and what you’re going to try and do better next year. Rosh Hashanah is the new year and when Jews are supposed to be cleansed. He said it is their way of communicating our sins and regret for them to god. This usually falls in late fall or winter. 

Context: He’s been doing it ever since he can remember, he doesn’t feel that it does anything of significance in terms of good standing with God but He likes to be with his family at this time and feels that it helps him grow and be a better person

Analysis: The practice of casting bread into water as a symbol of casting away sins embodies a communal approach to repentance. While the informant expresses skepticism about the ritual’s direct impact on divine judgment, their continued participation highlights a personal and cultural commitment to the values of family unity and personal growth. The secular shift towards these traditions could be a reflection of the more secular shift which happened to many jews after the holocaust. This suggests that, within this cultural framework, traditions serve not only religious purposes but also support social cohesion and individual self-improvement.