ראש השנה - The head of the year
Yep in Hebrew the word “ראש” = head.
This word is significant and special, affecting many words and terms in Hebrew:
The first/upper part of things (nouns):
ראש ההר – top of the mountain
ראש המיטה – headboard
ראש העץ – top of the tree
Addressing leaders – someone walking first / in front of the group:
ראש העיר - mayor
ראש הממשלה - prime minister
יושב ראש - chairman
Words and phrases related with time and placing:
ראשון - Sunday, first
דבר ראשון – first thing
ראשוני – initial
ראשית - first
בראשית – at first, in the beginning, Genesis
מראש – in advance
ראש חודש – first day of the month
וכמובן – ראש השנה
So…. If you encounter a new word, term, combination of words, including "ראש" in it – this is probably something related with being first - the head of something.
Another sign for its significant value in the Hebrew language, is that the word “ראש” is often used in expressions and slang:
ראש גדול - big head” = thinking out of the box, taking responsibility"
ראש קטן –s"small head" - not really trying to solve the problem
ראש טוב – good head” = feeling chilled, all good"
לתפוס ראש - to catch a head” = relaxing"
לתפוס את הראש - to catch the head” = to be in shock trying not to lose it"
ראש על הכתפיים - head on the shoulders” = responsible, trustworthy"
ראש לשועלים - the head of the fox” = being the leader of a weak group"
לאכול את הראש - "to eat the head" = bothering someone by constantly talking to him/her"
ומה מאחלים (to wish, wishing) בראש השנה?
“happy (שמחה) new (חדשה) year” = "שנה חדשה שמחה" is the most common wish and saying in most languages – “have a happy year!”, but not in Hebrew...
In Hebrew we say – “"שנה טובה ומתוקה – have a good (טובה) and sweet (מתוקה) year;
Ask any Israeli who celebrated Rosh Hashanah and s/he will tell you that since whenever s/he remembers celebrating Rosh Hashanah there are always honey (דבש) and dates (תמרים) all over – representing all the sweet things we have around us here, feeling their sweetness.
Have you ever wondered why? Well it is something to think about – נקודה למחשבה… but here is a clue:
This Rosh Hashanah (ראש השנה) here in Israel we will all be quarantined (ב=in+סגר=quarantine), “celebrating” away from our families hoping for the new year to be – better – יותר טובה.
This celebration will not be happy (שמחה), but it can defiantly be sweet (מתוקה)…