Why do we eat a round challah on Rosh HaShanah?

Answered by
Rabbi Victor S. Appell

There are many explanations for this custom. Some see the round shape as a reflection of the continuing cycle of years and seasons. Another interpretation is that the round challah challahחַלָּהA braided egg bread eaten on Shabbat and festivals. Today challah comes in many flavors and varieties, including chocolate chip, gluten free, and vegan. Plural: challot. resembles a crown, symbolizing the sovereignty of God.  At a time of year when our thoughts turn to repentance and resolutions of self-improvement, the round challah reminds us that the opportunity for t'shuvahT'shuvahתְּשׁוּבָה"Return;" The concept of repentance and new beginnings, which is a continuous theme throughout the High Holidays.  is never-ending.