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Jewish Holidays

Stories from the Talmud about Repentance

June 30, 2006, by

“Midrashim” about “Teshuvah,” Repentance “Midrashim” are stories and ideas from sections of the Talmud not dealing directly with aspects of Jewish Law. The stories are either true stories about famous or not-so-famous individuals, which illustrate a moral point, obvious fables, again illustrating moral points, or philosophical ideas, derived from verses in the Bible. Some of […]

What are Sin and Repentance?

June 30, 2006, by

“Sin” or “Chet” in Hebrew, means “failure in our relationship with HaShem (G-d).” Our goal should be to continually move closer to G-d, But “chet” is behavior which causes us to move away from G-d. “Repentance” or “Teshuvah” in Hebrew, means “Return.” In this context, it means “Return to G-d” and to behavior required of […]

Rosh Chodesh Elul

June 30, 2006, by

Elul and Rosh Chodesh Elul – In Relation to Other Months of the Year 1 Nisan 2 Iyar 3 Sivan 4 Tammuz 5 Av – 30 days 6 Elul – 29 days; Rosh Chodesh is 2 days 7 Tishrei – 30 days 8 Cheshvan 9 Kislev 10 Tevet 11 Shevat 12 Adar Special Significance (Biblical […]

Who Should Lead the Selichot Prayers?

June 30, 2006, by

Who Should Lead The Selichot Prayers? It is very important that suitable individuals be chosen to lead the Selichot as well as the Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur Prayers, and to blow the Shofar What is “suitable?’ The most important quality is that they should have pleasant personalities and be acceptable to the entire congregation. They […]

Brief Explanation of the “Thirteen Attributes”

June 30, 2006, by

Brief Explanation of the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy (based on ArtScroll Siddur) The enumeration and explanation of the Attributes follows the generally accepted opinion of Rabbeinu Tam, as found in Rosh HaShanah (17b). (Note: The first two Attributes are based on the two-fold occurrence of the “Name,” “Hashem.” “Hashem” is really not in itself a […]

The Principal Ingredient of All Selichot

June 30, 2006, by

The Principal Ingredient of All Selichot Prayers (based on ArtScroll Siddur) The principal ingredient of all the Selichot Prayers is the “List” of the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy of G-d, “Hashem, Hashem, G-d, Compassionate and Gracious, Slow to Anger, and Abundant in Kindness and Truth, Preserver of Kindness for thousands of generations, Forgiver of iniquity, willful […]

Three Levels of Forgiveness

June 30, 2006, by

(based on a “Tomer Devorah” class by Rabbi Yaacov Haber) There are three Hebrew synonyms: “Selichah,” “Mechilah,” and “Kapparah,” all related to the idea of “forgiveness.” What does each mean? “Selichah,” usually translated as “forgiveness” is the first step which must be taken if someone has committed a sin, whether it be against G-d or […]

Basic Questions and Answers About Selichot

June 30, 2006, by

What are Selichot? Selichot are special prayers for forgiveness. When are they said? They are usually said on fast days, which are occasions when the Jewish People needs special forgiveness for sin. They are also said during the period preceding Yom Kippur, which is obviously also such an occasion. In the Sephardic tradition, Selichot are […]

The Month of Elul

June 26, 2006, by

“Elul” is the Sixth Month of the year, counting from “Nisan,” called in the Chumash, “the first month.” Counting from “Tishrei”, the month of Rosh HaShanah, “Elul” is the twelfth, and last month in the year. Like the names of the other months of the Hebrew Calendar, “Elul came up”, or “returned with,” those Jews […]

Rosh Chodesh Elul

June 26, 2006, by

“Elul” is the Sixth Month of the year, counting from “Nisan,” called in the Chumash, “the first month.” Counting from “Tishrei”, the month of Rosh HaShanah, “Elul” is the twelfth, and last month in the year. Like the names of the other months of the Hebrew Calendar, “Elul came up”, or “returned with,” those Jews […]