Hebrew lesson: ראש השנה - the new year
Today we will review the holiday term, the root and the true meaning of the word – ראש & שנה
Let’s start with “שנה טובה” which means ‘happy new year’
The word טובה׳‘ is an adjective that means ‘good’ in feminine form. The word שנה׳‘ (which is in feminine form. All Hebrew nouns have a gender!)
Comes from the rootש.נ.ה which is the root for the word ‘change’. The connection is clear. The word ‘שנה‘ which symbolizes a change of years share the same root as the word ‘change’. With words like:, (to change) לשנות,
You might know the term “זה לא משנה” (“it doesn’t change a thing”, or “it doesn’t matter”). And the reason “it doesn’t matter” because nothing has changed!
But what about the word “ראש” that is the first of “ראש השנה”. The word “ראש” means “head”. And if we want to dive head on to the Hebrew language we will discover that the word “ראש” (“head”) is in use to refers to being first in words like: “בראשית”- the beginning, Genesis/ ראשון – first/ ראש חודש – the first day of the month/ Which is the date of “ראש השנה”
By the way, the word חודש׳‘ which means ‘a month’ derives from the root ח.ד.ש which is also the root for the word ‘new’ (חדש). which also connected to the news (חדשות)