Erev Rosh Hashanah

General Notes

It is customary for synagogues to replace the Torah cover, Parochet (curtain covering the Ark), and cover of the reading table with white ones until after Yom Kippur.

It is  customary to visit the graves of loved ones on this day.


We do not sound the shofar during Shacharit.

Conclude the service with Acha Sha'alti (MT 662).


Light candles before sunset.

Recite the candle blessing for Shabbat and festivals, followed by Shehecheyanu (MT 384).


We recite an abbreviated Kabbalat Shabbat, consisting of Psalms 92 and 93, before Ma'ariv. Some congregations also recite an abbreviated L'cha Dodi before reciting Psalm 92.

Include other changes for Shabbat as indicated in the machzor.

During Dinner

We recite the Kiddush for Rosh Hashanah evening, with appropriate additions for Shabbat. Kiddush is followed by Shehecheyanu.

Before making HaMotzi, dip an apple in honey and recite the following:

Y'hi ratzon mil'fanecha, Adonai Eloheinu v'Elohei avoteinu v'imoteinu, she't'chadeish aleinu shanah tova um'tukah. May it be your will, Adonai our God and God of our ancestors, to renew us for a good and sweet year

Then, recite the blessing over fruit and eat the apple.

We then make HaMotzi over two Challot. It is customary to eat round challot during this season. Some people sprinkle honey over their challah rather than salt.

We add Ya'aleh v'Yavo and Harachaman for Rosh Hashanah to Birkat Hamazon.