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Jewish Holidays

Resh Lakish, the Reformed Bandit

June 30, 2006, by

Shimon, the son of Lakish, was the leader of a group of bandits, during the role of the Romans, after the Destruction of the Second Temple. He had a reputation for great strength, with a wild, even violent streak. He was also supposed to have great leadership ability, with very high, if somewhat misdirected, intelligence. […]

Rabbi Akiva, Master of Teshuvah

June 30, 2006, by

Rabbi Akiva, as a young man, did not know a word of Torah. He worked as a shepherd for “Ben Kalba Savua,” one of the richest men in Yerushalayim. One day, Rachel, the daughter of Ben Kalba Savua, looked at Akiva and was extremely impressed by his modesty and his gentleness with her father’s flocks. […]

Stories from the Talmud about People who Repented

June 30, 2006, by

“Midrashim” about “Baalei Teshuvah,” People who Repented Some of the “Midrashim” found in the Talmud about “Baalei Teshuvah,” People who Repented, are as follows: “One who says, ‘I will sin, then repent; I will sin, then repent’ is not permitted to repent.” (Masechet Yoma 85b) Comment: The generosity of Hashem is infinite, but a person cannot […]

The Four Steps of Repentance

June 30, 2006, by

Teshuvah (Return, or Repentance) is a generous gift from G-d, which allows us to erase our improper actions through a four-step process (see below). The Torah tells us that no matter how far we stray or how many times we sin, G-d will wait for us to return to him through Teshuvah. There are four basic […]

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 […]

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