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Why the head and not the tail?

Indeed, the word “ראש” = “head”.

In many European languages (such as English, French, and Russian) there is no equivalent to the term "ראש השנה".

This term (only 2 words) holds an entire world in it – expressing new beginnings, reaching new mountain tops, opening clean sheets, offering new points of view, standing in a new line, hoping to find new elementary and original bases. why (למה)? and how (איך)? :

In Hebrew there are many slang phrases and figure of speech including the word “ראש” showing how meaningful and powerful this word is:

  • ראש גדול/קטן = taking/not taking responsibility, not letting/letting things slip

  • good vibes = ראש טוב

  • אין לי ראש לזה! = !I don’t feel like handling this right now or I don’t have a head for

  • we think alike = אנחנו באותו ראש

The word "ראש" also stands for “first” – coming first, leading people, time, and places:

  • ראש חודש – the first day of the month

  • ראש הממשלה, ראש העיר – prime minister, mayor

  • team leader – ראש צוות

Since ראש is the first and upper part of the human body, it is also used to describe the characters of places and nouns:

  • ראש ההר – mountain top

  • ראש המיטה - headboard

  • first in line – ראשון בתור

Also related to time, "ראש" describes beginnings, priority and precedence:

  • first – ראשון

  • Sunday – יום ראשון

  • genesis – בראשית

  • first thing – דבר ראשון

  • ראשוני – initial, elementary

In Rosh Hashana we greet each other : "שנהיה לראש ולא לזנב" = literally meaning “let us be the head and not the tail”. This phrase is part of many historic Hebrew writings that proclaimed that Israel should not be led and dominated but rather to lead its own way in order to develop independently - reaching new mountain tops, hoping to find new elementary and original bases.

Wishing you all happy healthy new year, may you find yourself standing on new mountain tops, embracing opportunities this new year brings

שנה טובה בריאה ומאושרת – שתהיו לראש ולא לזנב

"להתחיל הכל מהתחלה כמו לנשום בפעם הראשונה"


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