The Annulment of Vows

June 28, 2006, by

The Torah permits people to accept upon themselves personal obligations and prohibitions. Once made, these vows (or oaths) must be kept. There are two commandments in the Torah making it obligatory to keep such vows. The Torah, however, also provided a way to release oneself from a vow. By going to a Beit Din, a […]

U’Netaneh Tokef

June 28, 2006, by

“Let Us Tell How Utterly Holy This Day Is” The Background The prayer entitled “U’Netaneh Tokef” is attributed to a Rabbi Amnon of Mainz, Germany, who lived about one thousand years ago. The story behind this piyut, a prayer-poem, is sad and poignant, and may shed light on the prayer itself. The Bishop of Mainz […]

Three Basic Prayers of Rosh HaShanah

June 28, 2006, by

Three descriptions, so to speak, of G-d, through which we can relate to Him, are contained in the Mussaf Prayer of Rosh HaShanah. They are as follows: 1) Malchiyot – Kingliness: G-d is the incomparable King of The Universe. The destiny of humanity is to come to this realization. Whereas human kings rule in accordance […]

Introduction To Rosh HaShanah

June 28, 2006, by

Rabbi Tanchum said: “If someone, who has recited the Shema every day of his life, misses it just one evening, it is as if he has never said the shema at all. (Berakhot, 63a). Imagine that! Here is someone, aged perhaps 85, who has faithfully said the Shema every day since before his Bar Mitzvah […]

Rosh Hashanah

June 22, 2006, by

Rosh HaShanah is the day on which G-d created Man, Adam, G-d’s final and most precious creation. Each Rosh HaShanah, the birthday of Mankind, we proclaim G-d as our one and true King. We then reaffirm our desire to serve him every moment of our lives. At this same time, G-d reviews the status of […]

A Story for the Days of Awe

September 20, 2004, by

About 100 years ago, the Chofetz Chaim suggested that motion pictures were invented to help man visualize Divine judgment. We will all give an accounting for our actions after seeing a “movie” of our past misdeeds. Today, with the advent of computer technology, we can find further insight into spiritual realities that we cannot see […]