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Jewish Holidays

Requests on Shabbat and Rosh Hashana

September 6, 2006, by

The Yerushalmi Talmud rules that one is prohibited from making personal requests from God on Shabbat…but it should be permitted for us to make requests from God at the end of the Shemona Esrai of Rosh Hashana…

What is the Shofar?

June 30, 2006, by

The Shofar is a ram’s horn, which is blown throughout the month of Elul and on Rosh HaShanah. Its sound is meant to arouse us to do Teshuvah. The Shofar also serves as a reminder of the ram which was “caught by its horns in the bush.” (Bereshit {Genesis} 22, 12) As the Torah recounts, […]

The First Rosh HaShanah

June 30, 2006, by

On the 25th day of Elul the world came into being (Midrash – Jewish Lore). Adam, the First Man, and Chava, the First Woman, were created on the last of the Six Days of Creation, the Eve of Shabbat – This day is celebrated as Rosh HaShanah. Thus, when we say on Rosh HaShanah “Today […]

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 […]

About Work Restrictions

June 29, 2006, by

All Jewish holidays and observances, with the exception of some fasts, begin on the evening previous to the first day. Except as noted, all require special additional prayers and services are held in the Synagogue. All Jewish Holidays with Sabbath-like restrictions require that all normal business, school or secular activities cease about two hours before […]

Four Rosh HaShanahs

June 29, 2006, by

Although we are all familiar with the Rosh HaShanah, the “Head of the Year,” which occurs in the Fall, there are actually four Rosh HaShanah’s which define, to an extent, the Hebrew calendar. They are as follows: 1. First of Nisan – This is the month about which Moshe was commanded in Egypt, “This month […]

The Ten Days of Repentance: 2 Types of Teshuva

June 29, 2006, by

Although the mitzva of teshuva (repentance) is of a universal nature, and therefore not limited to any specific time period, the ten days from Rosh Hashanah until Yom Kippur are singled out as “days of repentance.” In what way are these days unique with respect to teshuva? The Rambam in Hilchot Teshuva focuses his discussion […]

The Shofar of Elul and the Days of Awe

June 29, 2006, by

We did not blow the Shofar on the last day of Elul, the morning before Rosh HaShanah, in order to “confuse the Satan.” Perhaps this means that the Satan would think that “they’re finished blowing, and have nothing left for the Day of Judgment.” But we say “Ashrei HaAm Yod’ei Teruah!” “Fortunate is the People […]

Eating Symbolic Foods

June 28, 2006, by

The Gemora in the tractate of Kerisus (6a) states “Abaye said ‘Now that you have said that an omen is significant, at the beginning of each year, each person should accustom himself to eat gourds, fenugreek, leeks, beets and dates…’.” Because of this Gemora, it is a custom to eat these listed foods, as well […]

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