Rosh Hashana 5776
Candle lighting - Candles are lit both nights of the holiday. On the second night, the candles must be lit from a pre-existing flame. See the prayer schedule for the proper times.
Ten Days of Teshubah - Beginning on Rosh HaShana through Yom Kippur are the Ten Days of Teshubah (Repentance). Obviously, we must try to better all aspects of our lives in these days in order to merit a good year. The prayers of these days have many changes and additions, so we must be extra careful when we pray. The most important change is 'Hamelech Hakadosh', which if not substituted for the usual ending, invalidates the prayer, and the Amidah must be repeated.
Symbolic Dishes - On the nights of Rosh HaShana we eat certain foods which, because of their names, are a good sign for the coming year. Follow the mahzor as to the order and when to make the blessing.
Shofar - The misvah of blowing the shofar is the only distinction the Torah gives to Rosh HaShana. Although we do not ask for forgiveness in our prayers on Rosh HaShana, the sound of the shofar should bring us to thoughts of repentance, thereby confusing the Satan and assuring us of a good year.
Our custom is to blow 101 sounds and, from the time of the beracha until the last sound, we are forbidden to talk about anything not related to the prayers.
Tashlich is done, on the first day after Minha we gather near a body of water and say certain prayers, including the verse that says our sins will be cast into the water.
Please note that it takes more than emptying our pockets over the water to get rid of our sins, and we should use this opportunity as a time for self-reflection.
Som Gedalia Wednesday September 16, the day following Rosh HaShana is a fast day that commemorates the assassination of Gedaliah ben Ahikam. All adults are obligated to fast from 5:25 A.M. to 7:32 P.M.
Succah - As a sign of our preoccupation with Misvot, it is customary to begin building a Succah (or at least planning to) right after Rosh HaShana. With this we show our hope that Hashem will inscribe us for a year of life.