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Jewish Holidays

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 […]

Reflections on Teshuva

October 11, 2005, by

Rabbi Tzvi Flaum (Senior Rabbi, Congregation Knesset Israel, Far Rockaway, NY) visits Young Israel of Jamaica Estates to deliver an inspiring message of Teshuva, according to the Rav’s conceptual analysis.

Selichot prior to Rosh HaShanah (Part 2)

January 18, 2005, by

The custom of saying selichot (penitential prayers) during the Days of Repentance is quite an ancient one, and is mentioned already in the time of the Geonim, who lived only a few generations after the last Amoraim (sages of the Talmud). The Ran (commentary on the Rif on Rosh HaShanah 3a) mentions three different customs […]