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Jewish Holidays

Elul: The Poignant Inner Voice When the Shofar Falls Silent

September 20, 2022, by

The shofar is blaring and noisy. It seeks to be invasive! Like the shrill alarm clock, it wakes us up from our stupor and spiritual apathy. But then comes and even more powerful sound, powerful in its silence–the ”קול דממה דקה”, our quiet inner voice. Lasting teshuvah is cast by the spell of this composed […]

Shabbat Rosh Chodesh

Download PDF This Haftarah, Isaiah’s final prophecy, presents visions of Israel in the Land, in exile, and in an apocalyptic redemption with the rest of humanity. In the Land, many Jews, falsely convinced of their own righteousness, reject and mock those who truly fear God. These mockers sacrifice to God but otherwise act evilly and reject […]

Erev Rosh Chodesh: Machar Chodesh

Download PDF In memory of Ira Beer, Yitzchak Dov ben Tzvi Mendel, on the occasion of his second Yahrtzeit. After Israel’s first king, Saul, failed to obliterate the nation of Amalek as God commanded, the prophet Samuel told him that God rejected him and would replace him with a better king. Samuel then privately anointed a […]

Elul: It’s About Love, Not Fear

September 13, 2022, by

Many people assume that this period is associated with the frightful judgment which awaits us on Rosh Hashana. This attitude is deeply rooted in lore, for example the Yiddish legend that ‘’in Elul even the fish tremble.’’ However, when we research the significance of Elul in primary sources a very different perspective emerges. Elul is […]