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Jewish Holidays

The Shofar: A Wake-Up Call

June 28, 2006, by

We find that when the Torah speaks of Rosh HaShana, it tells us “Yom Teru’ah yih’yeh lachem”, “a day of teru’ah (sounding the horn) should be to you”. Although the verses do not elaborate on what type of horn or instrument is being sounded, our sages have taught us that it refers to the Shofar, […]

Judgement: The Epitome of G-d’s Kindness

June 28, 2006, by

The meaning of the words Rosh HaShana literally is “Head (beginning) of the year.” However, this holiday carries much more significance than merely being the day on which a new calendar becomes necessary. The Sefer HaChinuch explains that Rosh HaShana is the day on which the whole world is judged. Each individual creature is judged […]

Yom Tru’ah & Zichron Tru’ah: Rosh HaShanah in the Chumash

June 28, 2006, by

To our surprise, Chumash appears to have left out the two primary aspects of the holiday which we call Rosh Hashana: * that it marks the beginning of the NEW YEAR, and * that it is a Day of Judgement. This week’s shiur attempts to uncover them. INTRODUCTION Chumash contains only two brief and ambiguous […]

The Structure of Tekiyot

June 28, 2006, by

The Ramban in his “Drasha le-Rosh Hashanah” recounts a certain episode which occurred during the life of his rebbe, Rav Natan (of Trinquetaille, the 13th century Talmudist). Evidently, when the latter traveled to study with the Ritzba, the following incident took place: the ba’al tokea on Rosh Hashanah, instead of blowing three blasts for shevarim, blew […]

Day of Joy – Day of Judgment

June 28, 2006, by

Rosh Hashana appears twice in the Torah: first in Vayikra 23:24 – “…In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, shall you have a sabbath, a remembrance of blowing of horns [“zikhron teru’ah”], a holy gathering…”, and later in Bamidbar 29:1 – “…It is a day of blowing the horn [“yom teru’ah”] […]

Insights into Rosh Hashanah: Don’t Worry, Be Happy

June 28, 2006, by

“Let us now relate the power of the day’s holiness, for it is awesome and frightening. On it Your Kingship will be exalted; Your throne will be firmed with kindness and You will sit upon it in truth. It is true that You alone are the One Who judges, proves, knows, and bears witness; Who […]

The Torah Reading for the First Day of Rosh HaShanah

June 28, 2006, by

The Torah reading and Haftarah of the first day of Rosh HaShanah raise a big question. That is, how are the overall themes of these texts essential to Rosh Hashanah? While it is true that both stories speak of barren women whose prayers were answered in the affirmative (and we, too, seek such response to our […]

The Akeidah

June 28, 2006, by

Some are bothered as to why the akeidah plays such a central theme in Rosh Hashanah. That is to say – there are so many other examples in which our ancestors put their lives on the line to show their belief and commitment to God (such as Nachshon at the Yam Suf, as well as […]

Two Teams

June 28, 2006, by

Here’s one way to think about the essence of the sacred holiday, Rosh Hashanah. (Inspired, perhaps, by everybody’s excitement at the approach of baseball’s post-season.) Rosh Hashanah is the time when we must decide which team we want to play for in the coming year. “Team?” you ask. “Just who (or what) is in this […]

The Shofar – A Cry From The Depths

June 28, 2006, by

Rav Abbahu said, “Why do we blow a ram’s horn? The Holy One, Blessed Be He, said: ‘Sound before Me a ram’s horn so that I may remember on your behalf the binding of Isaac the son of Avraham, and account it to you as if you had bound yourselves before Me.” “And Avraham lifted […]

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