Image: Rabbi Sharon Sobel blows a large shofar. She wears a colorful tallit.
The High Holy Days have one good all purpose blessing that actually keeps working through the end of the cycle, at the end of Sukkot. We can say, “Shana tova!” [Good year!] to which “Shana tova!” is a perfectly acceptable reply.
But if you are spending any time, even online, with other Jews, you may hear some other greetings. Here are some of the choices:
G’mar tov! — (g’MAHR TOHV) — A good finish
G’mar chatimah tovah! — (g’MAHR khah-tee-MAH tow-VAH) — A good final sealing
Tzom kasher! — (zohm ka-SHAYR) — Have a proper fast
Tzom kal! — (zohm KAHL) — Have an easy fast
The good news is that all of those are answered just as they are asked. Just say them back, and it’s all good.
There are also some all-purpose greetings you may hear. They are a bit less common on Yom Kippur, given its sober tone.
Chag sameach! — (khag sa-MAY-akh) — Happy holy day!
Goot yuntiff — (goot YUN-tif) — Yiddish — Good Holy Day.