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August 29, 2016 / 25 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Rosh Hashana’

It’s Elul — But Shmitah Has a Long Way To Go, Israeli Farmers Say

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

For some Israeli farmers, the Shmitah year still has a long way to go — another year, in fact.

According to Dave Matkowsky, founder of The Shmitah Fund, observance of Shmitah does not actually end with Rosh HaShanah, the start of the new, eighth year.

The time that farmers can replant, or begin their crops anew, actually varies according to the crop due to a combination of agricultural, economic and halachic (Torah legal) reasons.

Shimon Chazut, a farmer in Moshav Gimzu, has vineyards, olive groves and fruit orchards. “Shmitah for citrus is the eighth year,” he said. “For olives it’s the eighth year… with grapes, until you sell the wine it’s the eighth year too.

“It will be much harder in the eighth year than in the seventh.”

Matkowsky, an alumnus of Yeshiva University, established the nonprofit organization in order to ease the financial burden of Israeli farmers who are fulfilling this central religious-national imperative.

“The ability of the Jewish nation to flourish in the Land of Israel is intrinsically connected to Shmitah,” Matkowsky told JewishPress.com. “But it’s time for us to do our part. The farmers will not make it without our help.”

For the farmers and their families, the challenges of shmitah do not end with replanting, but only months later with the harvest and ability to bring their crops to market, Matkowsky explained.

“Halachically, fruit trees are prohibited until the new crop begins to reach maturity in mid-April, 2016. Some crops can be planted beginning in November 2015 (grains, potatoes, carrots, beets, onions, etc)

“Other crops cannot be planted until May 2016 because of their natural agricultural cycle (eggplant, zucchini, squash, etc.)

“Crops typically cultivated in greenhouses and hothouses (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, leaf vegetables) cannot be planted until April 2016 for economic reasons; the cost of planting sooner would exceed revenue and farmers would be forced to sell at a loss,” he added.

Currently there are 3,453 Shmitah-observant farmers who need help to get through this cycle and get back on their feet, according to Matkowsky.

The budget for the last Shmitah was $15 million. This cycle, with over 1,000 additional farmers, will cost $22.5 million.

Hana Levi Julian

Atlantic City Rabbi’s SUV Torched On Rosh Hashanah

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Republished from Jewish Business News.

Rabbi David Kushner told the Philly Daily News that Early Thursday, first day of Rosh Hashanah, his Ford Explorer was torched in the parking lot next to the Rodef Sholom Synagogue in Atlantic City.

“We’re trying to look at this situation positively,” Kushnersaid. “The year can only get better from here.”

Optimism is so touching sometimes.

Kushner, who only recently became the Rodef Sholom rabbi, parked the Explorer in the lot Wednesday night, before the services.

When he returned to the synagogue Thursday, he found ashes and scorch marks where the car used to be. The burnt SUV had been mercifully towed away.

Kushner told the News investigators had told him the fire was “suspicious.”

“I think someone picked the car because it was parked at the synagogue during worship,” Kushner said. “It’s almost impossible to say it was a coincidence.”

Kushner said he lost some valuables in the torched vehicle, including equipment he uses as a volunteer EMT in Monmouth County, N.J. But the worst damage was caused to his congregation.

“We have an older congregation, comprised of many Holocaust survivors,” he said. “To see this during the High Holy Days raised emotions in them that haven’t come out for years.”

Tibbi Singer

Tashlich in Tel Aviv

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Israelis perform the Tashlich ceremony along the beach in Tel Aviv.

Tashlich in Tel Aviv 2

Tashlich in Tel Aviv 3

Photo of the Day

Breslov Hassidim to Spend Rosh Hashana in Israel

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

A flight to Uman from Israel was canceled today, the eve of Rosh Hashana, due to technical difficulties encountered before takeoff.

Everyone on the flight was sent home to spend Rosh Hashana in Israel.

Many Breslov Hassidim prefer to spend Rosh Hashana at the graveside of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in Uman, rather than with their families.

This year, one planeload will be spending the High Holidays with their families it the Holy Land.

We’re sure Rebbe Nachman would approve.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Tap Into Rosh Hashana

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Video of the Day

The Most Powerful IDF Video, Just In Time For New Year [video]

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

There are many videos out there of tough IDF soldiers and then some emotional videos of soldiers coming home from battle, but this video of IDF soldiers singing one of the most powerful prayers Jews say on the holiest day of the year is simply amazing!

According to Jewish tradition the prayer Unetane Tokef was written by Rabbi Amnon. Rabbi Amnon was pressured to convert from Judaism and as a delaying tactic, he requested three days to consider the offer; immediately after, he regretted giving even the pretense that he could possibly leave Judaism.

After spending the three days in prayer, he refused to come to the bishop as promised, and, when he was brought to the bishop’s palace, he begged that his tongue be cut out to atone for his sins.

This event occurred shortly before “Rosh_Hashanah” and on that holiday, as he lay dying, Rabbi Amnon asked to be carried into the Synagogue where he recited the original composition of Unetanneh Tokef with his last breath. Three days later, he appeared in a dream to Rabbi Kalonymus_Ben-Meshullam one of the great scholars of “Mainz”and begged him to record the prayer and to see that it was included in the text of the High Holiday services.

There is nothing more appropriate than listening to IDF soldiers singing Unetane Tokef as if to say, “We are here to defend Israel but we know God is in charge.” 
This chilling rendition of Unetane Tokef is sung by Shai Abramson, IDF’s Chief cantor. I suggest you listen to it twice, the first time watch the video and the second time play it but close your eyes. This will touch your soul like never before!


Rosh HaShana Message from PM Binyamin Netanyahu

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu thanked Jewish communities around the world on the eve of the Jewish new year, Rosh HaShana, in a video message broadcast in English.

Shana Tova to the People of Israel and the Jewish Nation around the World, from all of us at JewishPress.com!

Jewish Press Staff

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rosh-hashana-message-from-pm-binyamin-netanyahu/2014/09/23/

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