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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Jewish New Year’

Shekel Up Against Dollar Post-Rosh Hashanah

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

The shekel strengthened against the dollar and euro in trading after the Rosh Hashana holiday.  Tel Aviv’s foreign currency exchange market was closed Monday and Tuesday for the Jewish New Year.

In trading on Wednesday morning, the shekel-dollar rate dropped by 0.38% to 3.895 shekels to the dollar.

The Euro also strengthened against the dollar to $1.308 to the euro following a four-month low by the dollar against the euro last week.

Netanyahu Rosh Hashanah Message Highlights Gov’t Achievements

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a Rosh Hashanah youtube message yesterday highlighting his government’s achievements throughout the year, displaying one government achievement per month.

Examples given in the video include the return of Gilad Shalit, increasing funding for education allowing children to attend school from age three, and allowing other companies to use cell phone infrastructure, adding several new cell phone companies to the market with significantly lower prices.

The video, below, is in Hebrew.

Wakeup Call (Midot 1:9)

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

At about 4 a.m. on cold and damp autumn mornings in London, Dad would try to wake us in time for Selichot, the pre-Jewish New Year dawn prayers. As we heard Dad’s footsteps mounting the stairs, my brother and I would hide under our covers and mutter our displeasure at being disturbed.

Eventually, after a few more tries and realizing that the futile attempt to get us out of bed was only making him late, Dad would turn at the front door of the house, deposit the prayer books on the sofa and announce in a voice, loud enough to wake us up again, “Seliches on the couch!”  Then the front door would bang and Dad would disappear into the cold, wet night. We would surreptitiously emerge from under our covers. All clear. Peace at last!

Dad never criticized us for our sloth. But years later, reading about how the kohanim sprang into action in the wee hours of the morning to conduct the preparations for the daily Temple service known as the korban tamid and how they raced each other to the front of the line to be the first to report to duty, I realized I’d better clean up my act before Mashiach came.

In fact, the kohanim were so eager to be on time that they slept the night before on the marble surfaces of one of the chambers of the Temple known as bet hamoked, the House of Fire situated on the north side of the azarah, the Temple courtyard. The bet hamoked was built into the wall of the Temple so that half of it protruded into the azarah and half into the har habayit, the Temple Mount, situated outside the Temple.

The bet hamoked was permanently warmed by an open fire, which served the dual purpose of keeping the kohanim warm and providing a backup source of fire for the altar. It had an interior door leading into the azarah at its southern end and an exterior door leading outside to the har habayit at its northern end.

A staircase in the bet hamoked led down to a subterranean tunnel, which ran under the Temple to a mikveh situated outside of the Temple where the kohanim could immerse themselves at night in preparation for the morning service.

Long before dawn broke, there was a knock on the outside door of the bet hamoked. The kohen hame’muneh, the boss responsible for supervising the preparations for the korban, had arrived. The kohanim were prepared for his arrival. They had already changed out of their bedclothes and donned their priestly garments. They were eager to participate in the korban tamid activities.

The korban tamid was offered up every morning and every afternoon, including Shabbat. The korbanot tamid served as the bookends for all the other korbanot that were brought during the day. No other offering could be brought before the korban tamid of the morning or after the korban tamid of the afternoon.

Raphael Grunfeld’s book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Moed” (distributed by Mesorah) is available at OU.org and your local Jewish bookstore. The writer can be contacted at rafegrunfeld@gmail.com.

Title: The Spirit of the Seasons: Insights into the Yomim Tovim

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Title: The Spirit of the Seasons: Insights into the Yomim Tovim

Author: Rabbi Jonathan Shooter

Publisher: Feldheim

 

 

   Jews around the world are reflecting on the Jewish New Year season that recently passed. It seems that everybody is struggling with their resolutions to be better and to do better. All of us are worrying about the daunting lead-up to life’s next chapter: Thanksgiving season. Xmas parties. Awkward situations, she’elot that make you blush to ask them. Bills. More bills. Tempers. Fourth quarter reports. Bosses cut losses by firing staff. Fear. Panic. You wonder what was gained by going through the Yamim Noraim. I have good news for you: The Spirit of the Seasons by Rabbi Jonathan Shooter can show you insights into the Yamim Tovim to soothe your soul and psyche.

 

   The 287-page hardcover graciously takes you through the Jewish year with thoughtful reflections and information. Shooter lets us listen in on the Chafetz Chaim’s resonating remark about self-sacrifice in the Kislev chapter. Ponder the tragedy of Asarah B’Tevet when you read what Reb Nachum Chernobler said about tikkun chatzot and its deeper meaning (page 138). Add all that to the rest of this fascinating read to become a more informed Jew who keeps up with the class that HaKadosh Baruch Hu began 5771 years ago.

 

   The Spirit of the Seasons: Insights into the Yomim Tovim belongs in your hands and on your reading table.

 

   Yocheved Golani is the author of the highly acclaimed E-book, “It’s MY Crisis! And I’ll Cry If I Need To: EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge”  (www.booklocker.com/books/4244.html).

The Clarifying Truths Of Chanukah

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Ever wonder why the Jewish New Year begins with three back-to-back-to back holidays and then no biblical holidays for another six months?

At the onset of each New Year, God, out of His love for us, gives us tools to clear away any obstruction to coming close to Him. Three main stumbling blocks diminish our instinctual yearning for our Father in Heaven and each holiday addresses a different one.

Chanukah, the first rabbinic holiday following Sukkot, celebrates the rededication by the Maccabees of the Temple. The holiday incorporates the lessons of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot and illuminates the synergy between them.

The first obstacle to union with God is confusion. If we do not acknowledge who created us and why, what will become of our relationship with our Creator? Crowning God our King and Creator is a central theme of Rosh Hashanah. The holiday frames the question, “How can I live my life as God intended when He created me?”

On Chanukah, we thank God for saving us from a threat to our souls rather than to our bodies. The Greeks wanted the Jews to assimilate and, as the rampant assimilation of our own day makes painfully clear, identifying a spiritual menace is much more difficult than recognizing a physical one. The clarity of the Maccabees enabled them to understand what was worth standing up for. When we have clarity, everything in life is viewed in terms of whether it brings us closer to our Father and Creator or farther away.

The second obstacle is contamination. When a person sins, spiritual atherosclerosis sets in. Sometimes our connection to God becomes so clogged that we no longer feel His presence in our lives. Yom Kippur, through repentance, teaches us how to clear away accumulated impurities. Do not be discouraged; even initiating the process can kindle a longing for God.

Part of the Chanukah story is the discovery of one ritually pure jug of oil, still suitable for lighting the Menorah in the Temple. The oil – only enough for one day – miraculously lasted for eight. Each one of us is a miniature temple housing the holy of holies, our souls. By living with this awareness we will distance ourselves from contamination. When we search for purity, as the Maccabees did, and allow only that into our lives, we become vessels fit to receive God’s miracles.

The third obstacle is bitterness. When life does not materialize in the way we desire, we can get angry with God. Sukkot, the festival of joy, occurs during the harvest season, a time of abundance. Part of the holiday’s festivity comes from our appreciation of the many blessings God has given us. A person is unable to feel bitterness and gratitude at the same time; the choice is therefore ours. Sukkot calls out to us, “Choose joy!”

In a study, Dr. Robert A. Emmons found that gratitude can increase our happiness by 25 percent. A spiritual-based exercise is to ask yourself, “What has greatly enhanced the quality of my life?” General categories include: being Jewish, family, friends, emotional/physical health, money, possessions, food, shelter and clothing. Pick an example of one of these and think about how God gave this specifically to you out of His love for you. Talk to God, preferably out loud, and tell Him how you have benefited from it and how grateful you are to Him. Now, bring to mind again how your Father gave this specifically to you because He loves you. Preferably, repeat this process using three different quality of life enhancers.

One benefit of this practice is a deep warm feeling of being loved by your Father. In addition, this exercise can lead to the awareness that just as the overt blessings in our lives are given to us by God because He loves us, everything else is also given out of God’s love. Though we do not know how something specific is a manifestation of His love, the fact that God does love us is something we can see, feel and know.

Chanukah, a festival of thanksgiving, does not mark the end of the struggle against the Greeks; the fighting continued for another 22 years. Why didn’t the Jews wait until the end of the war to celebrate? Because they knew the secret of gratitude – to be grateful for every blessing, regardless of what else is going on in our lives. Each day, no matter how bleak, contains within it a kernel for which we can be appreciative; a portal to joy and feeling God’s love.

It’s My Opinion: Reflections On A New Year

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, can be a time of optimism. The observances of the holiday are actually quite therapeutic. Engaging in prayer, charity and repentance clears one’s head, and sets us in a position to anticipate a clean slate. We hope for Hashem’s blessings for a good year.

 

            This period, however, can also be a time of apprehension, as we contemplate the unknown. No one knows what the future will bring. Life can contain unexpected twists and turns. Some of them can be quite disturbing.

 

            We all know that bad things sometimes happen to good people and good things happen to the bad. However, who is to say which of us are good or bad or if working through some dire problem will ultimately be in an individual’s best interest.

 

            Recently, visitors at the beautiful Jungle Island in Miami paid for a lovely day at the lush tropical attraction. They strolled happily through the park’s beautiful gardens, enjoyed the wildlife exhibits and watched the shows.

 

            They were in for a surprise. A 500-pound Bengal Tiger jumped the previously impenetrable high wall of his cage. Frenzied visitors ran in horror. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and they recaptured the giant cat.

 

            Yes, life is fragile and unpredictable and sometimes scary. How ironic that some emerge from dangerous war zones unscathed and yet a simple day at Jungle Island could turn so precarious. Go figure. That uncertainty makes life all the more precious. Jews are taught, “Ivdu es Hashem b’simchah – Serve G-d with happiness.” That plan, in reality, is the best that we can do.

 

I want to take this opportunity to wish my readers shanah tovah, a happy, healthy, sweet new year filled with much simchah.

Hallandale Beach Mikvaos Project Moving Quickly

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

The three Mikvaos Mei Menachem under construction in Hallandale Beach are being built at a rapid pace, and should be completed, G-d willing, in time for the Jewish New Year 5769.  With hydraulic lifts for the physically challenged, the mikvaos will cater to hundreds of people, including individuals who could not perform this mitzvah before due to the lack of a facility that addressed their special needs.  Both the women and men’s mikvaos will have all the necessary features to accomplish the task.


Executive Vice President of Chabad of South Broward, Rabbi Raphael Tennenhaus, is amazed at the quick progress of the mikvaos construction.  The Hallandale area has evolved from what once was a community for seniors to a younger neighborhood.  The facility has become a necessity. 


These are the first mikvaos to be built in Hallandale Beach and the first men’s mikveh in South Broward.  The mikvaos will be located at the headquarters of Chabad of South Broward, 1295 East Hallandale Beach Boulevard.  The center also houses Congregation Levi Yitzchok-Lubavitch, the Chaya Aydel Seminary, the ChaiTots Preschool, the Hallandale Hebrew School and the kollel for businessmen and professionals.


For further information about this project, please call 954-458-1877, e-mail chabadsb@bellsouth.net, or log on to chabadsouthbroward.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/hallandale-beach-mikvaos-project-moving-quickly/2008/08/20/

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