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November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
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Parshas Nitzavim-Vayelech


Weekly Luach - Shabbat Shalom

Thursday morning: The chazzan dons a kittel – in some congregations all congregants don a kittel as well. We recite the usual tefillos in the Machzor – Korbanos, Kaddish Tiskabbel. Pesukei DeZimra is said slowly and with much concentration. At Nishmas – if there are separate chazzanim for Shacharis and Pesukei DeZimra – the second chazzan begins with HaMelech, then Yishtabach, Shir Hama’alos and half-Kaddish.

Barechu, followed by Birkas Kerias ShemaShemoneh Esreh as the night before. Following the silent Shemoneh Esreh, the chazzan repeats the Shemoneh Esreh with Piyyutim as found in the Machzor. We say Avinu Malkenu. The chazzan recites Kaddish Shalem (full Kaddish).

(Nusach Sefarad now recite the Shir Shel Yom and LeDavid Hashem Ori, followed by their respective mourner’s Kaddish recitals.)

We remove two Sifrei Torah from the Ark and chazzan and congregation recite VaYehi Binso’a – 13 Middos, Ribbono Shel Olam, Shema Yisrael etc. We call 5 aliyos and we read from Parashas Vayera (Bereishis 21:1-34). We place the second Sefer Torah on the bimah next to the first scroll and say half-Kaddish.

The Maftir reads from the second Sefer Torah in Parashas Pinchas (Bamidbar 29:1-6). The Maftir reads the Haftara, VaYehi ish echad (I Samuel 1:28-2:10). We conclude the Birkas HaHaftara with Mekaddesh Yisrael VeYom HaZikaron.

Tekias Shofar: We prepare ourselves for the sounding of the shofar. It is customary to appoint a makri, a scholarly individual who calls out the tekios for the ba’al tekiah. In preparation, the congregation recites La’menatze’ach Livnei Korach Mizmor 7 times – followed by Min Hameitzar and Koli Shamata – an accrostic of Kra Satan (lit. tear Satan, destroy the prosecuting angel).

The ba’al tekiah recites the blessings of Lishmo’a kol shofar and Shehecheyanu (he bears in mind the intention to fulfill the requirement for all the congregants) those present are careful to respond amen. He then sounds the following blasts: Tekia, Shevarim-Teruah, Tekiah – three times; Tekiah, Shevarim, Tekiah – three times; and Tekiah, Teruah, Tekiah – three times, for a total of 30 blasts. We do not interrupt with any conversation during the shofar blasts. We all recite Ashrei ha’am yod’ei [t]eruah followed by Ashrei, LeDavid Mizmor etc. We return the Sifrei Torah to the Ark.

Musaf: The chazzan recites the prayer Hineni, followed by half-Kaddish. Chazzan and congregation say the silent Shemoneh Esreh as found in the Machzor (Nusach Sefarad, at the appropriate breaks in the silent Shemoneh Esreh – at Malchuyos, Zichronos and Shofaros – blow a total of 30 more blasts). Ashkenaz do not blow the shofar during the silent Shemoneh Esreh.

The chazzan repeats the Shemoneh Esreh, and we interrupt at Malchuyos, Zichronos and Shofaros to blow 30 additional blasts in the same order (Tashrat, Tashat, Tarat). The congregation recites Hayom haras olam and in Areshes we conclude with the proper textual variant for each – Malchuyosenu the first time, Zichronoseinu the second time, and Shofroseinu the third time.

The Levi’im (or, in their absence, the firstborn) wash the hands of the Kohanim in preparation of their ascending the Duchan. At the conclusion of the Shemoneh Esreh repetition the chazzan recites Kaddish Tiskabbel. In the middle, before the words Tiskabbel… are uttered, the ba’al tekiah blows 10 blasts of the shofar.

We conclude the tefilla with Ein Ke’Elokeinu and Aleinu and their respective Kaddish recitals (congregations that did not say the Shir Shel Yom and LeDavid Hashem Ori after Shacharis do so now, each followed by its respective Kaddish.)

We conclude with 30 final blasts of the shofar (according to Minhag Ashkenaz. Minhag Sefarad need not blow any additional blasts as they blew 30 during the silent Shemoneh Esreh) to complete the full count of 100 blasts of the shofar.

Many congregations conclude the service with the chanting of Adon Olam.

The text for the Kiddush at the Seuda is Tik’u bachodesh shofar…, followed by Borei pri hagafen. One does not sleep on the day the Books of Judgment are open, but we study Torah and Tehillim.

We return to the synagogue for Mincha. No reading of the Torah. The text of the Shemoneh Esreh is found in the Machzor, followed by Avinu Malkenu, Kaddish Tiskabbel, Aleinu and Kaddish Yasom (Mourner’s Kaddish).

About the Author: Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.


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Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

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Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

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