Holidays

Day of Joy – Day of Judgment

June 28, 2006, by

Rosh Hashana appears twice in the Torah: first in Vayikra 23:24 – “…In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, shall you have a sabbath, a remembrance of blowing of horns ["zikhron teru'ah"], a holy gathering…”, and later in Bamidbar 29:1 – “…It is a day of blowing the horn ["yom teru'ah"] […]

Insights into Rosh Hashanah

June 28, 2006, by

“Let us now relate the power of the day’s holiness, for it is awesome and frightening. On it Your Kingship will be exalted; Your throne will be firmed with kindness and You will sit upon it in truth. It is true that You alone are the One Who judges, proves, knows, and bears witness; Who […]

The Torah Reading

June 28, 2006, by

The Torah reading and Haftarah of the first day of Rosh Hashanah raise a big question. That is, how are the overall themes of these texts essential to Rosh Hashanah? While it is true that both stories speak of barren women whose prayers were answered in the affirmative (and we, too, seek such response to […]

The Akeidah

June 28, 2006, by

Some are bothered as to why the akeidah plays such a central theme in Rosh Hashanah. That is to say – there are so many other examples in which our ancestors put their lives on the line to show their belief and commitment to God (such as Nachshon at the Yam Suf, as well as […]

Two Teams

June 28, 2006, by

Here’s one way to think about the essence of the sacred holiday, Rosh Hashanah. (Inspired, perhaps, by everybody’s excitement at the approach of baseball’s post-season.) Rosh Hashanah is the time when we must decide which team we want to play for in the coming year. “Team?” you ask. “Just who (or what) is in this […]

The Shofar – A Cry From The Depths

June 28, 2006, by

Rav Abbahu said, “Why do we blow a ram’s horn? The Holy One, Blessed Be He, said: ‘Sound before Me a ram’s horn so that I may remember on your behalf the binding of Isaac the son of Avraham, and account it to you as if you had bound yourselves before Me.” “And Avraham lifted […]

Tashlich

June 28, 2006, by

The word “Tashlich” means “You will cast away.” In this context, it refers to a custom dating from at least as early as the fourteenth century, but probably much earlier, based on the last verses of the Book of Michah (Micah) 7:18-20, shown below: “Who is a G-d like You? You forgive sins and overlook […]

Annulment of Vows Dialogue

June 28, 2006, by

The following text is lengthy, quite technical and detailed. It is based on Talmudic concepts, and is constructed, in Jewish “legalese,” to cover all relevant topics. The petitioner begins by addressing the Beit Din as follows: Petitioner’s Statement Listen, please, my masters, expert judges — every vow or oath or prohibition, or prohibition that I […]

Various Customs of Rosh HaShanah

June 28, 2006, by

It is customary on Rosh Hashanah, during the evening meals, to eat foods symbolizing sweetness, blessings, and abundance. We dip the challah in honey; and afterwards, on the first night, we eat a piece of apple dipped in honey. In general, this time of year is a very profitable one for those in the honey […]

Full Text of U’Netaneh Tokef

June 28, 2006, by

The Full Text (Scanned from the ArtScroll Rosh HaShanah Machzor) The following is the full translated text of the great prayer, “U’Netaneh Tokef,” attributed to Rabbi Amnon of Mainz, as related to Rabbi Klonimus ben Meshullam THE ARK BEING OPEN: Congregation and chazzan: So now, the Kedushah prayer shall ascend to You, for You, our […]