There are a number of ways Jews greet one another during the High Holy Days. The easiest, all-purpose greeting is:
SHANA TOVA – (shah-NAH toe-VAH) – literally “Good year” it means “Happy New Year.” You can reply with the same words.
Some other greetings you may hear leading up to Rosh Hashanah and on the day:
L’SHANA TOVA (luh-shah-NAH toe-VAH) – literally “To a Good Year.” It also means Happy New Year, and you can reply in kind.
L’SHANA TOVA TIKATEIVU (shah-NAH toe-VAH tee-kah-TAY-voo) literally, “May you be written for a good year [in the Book of Life.]
GUT YUNTIFF – (GOOT YUN-tif), (Yiddish) “Happy Holiday.”
From Rosh HaShanah to Yom Kippur, it’s polite to assume that someone has already been “written in the book of life” so you wish them a “good sealing”:
GAMAR CHATIMAH TOVAH – (ga-MAR chah-ti-MAH toe-VAH) – “May your final sealing be good.”
Remember, you can never go wrong greeting or answering with “Shana Tovah!”
Thank you to Rabbi Michal Loving of Temple Beth Orr, Coral Springs, FL for the photo featured with this article. I use it by permission of Rabbi Loving, and all rights to its use are hers.
12 thoughts on “A Guide to High Holy Day Greetings”
Rabbi Ruth, your blog is so good! Thanks much!
Thank you for the kind words and your continuing readership, Fabio!
This is terrific for us newbies! How about any food traditions for the High Holidays, particular foods, recipes etc? Would love to hear of any!
Hi Michelle, please try this: