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October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Rosh Hashana’

For Victims of Abuse – A Warm Embrace

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Note from Harry Maryles: I usually take this time on the eve of the New Year to reflect on what kind if a year this was for me. The sudden death of my grandson Reuven who suffered from cancer was unexpected. Although his prognosis was never great, he had defied the odds by living as long as he did. People all over the world davened for him and for that I am still grateful.  But it was not meant to be.

On one unusually warm morning in early March of this year Reuven was taken from us as he suddenly collapsed – never to resuscitated. That was one of the hardest days of my life.  But I am grateful to God for all the blessings he as otherwise given me.  And with God’s help I look forward to a much better year ahead.
 
Aside from that personal note, I am going to relinquish the space I give here to any additional reflection or the Dvar Torah I usually give on Erev Yom Tov- to Rabbi Yakov Horowitz. He asked me if I would cross post an essay from his website on my blog. After reading it, I decided that there is no Dvar Torah that I could deliver that would be more important than his words.
With all the troubles facing Klal Yisroel now, I don’t think there is a single issue more important than the issue of sex abuse in our community. We all know the horror stories the survivors of abuse tell us. And we all too often hear of the devastating consequences they face – some for many years after.
 
In part the altered lives they live are a result of the abuse itself. But it is in part also because of the unfortunate negative reaction to the victims by their own community.  It is to this sad reality that Rabbi Horowitz speaks. The new year is not only a time for reflection. It is a time for change. If there is one thing we need to change as a community it is how we treat victims of abuse.
 
Ksiva V’Chasima Tova to all. The following are Rabbi Horowitz’s words.
As we prepare to stand before Hashem in the days to come, and daven (pray) for ourselves, our families and all of Klal Yisroel, those of us who work with survivors of abuse and molestation ask you to publicly show your support for them in these yemei rachamim (days of mercy).
Part and parcel of the strategy employed by many of the predators in our community is to discredit their victims who have the courage to step forward and press charges against them. Typically, the molester will point to the victim’s 1) diminished level of religious observance and/or 2) self-destructive behaviors, like substance abuse, to “prove” his own innocence.However, for those of us who work with at-risk teens, the fact that one of our tayere kinderlach engaged in hard-core drug use, self-mutilation, suicide attempts, or left Yiddishkeit, makes it MORE likely that the accusation is true, not less. Why? Because we have known for many years now that the vast majority of our kids who have descended into the gehenom of these destructive activities have done so because they were molested.Of all the horror committed by predators against our innocent, precious boys and girls, the premeditated and deliberate defamation of their character is perhaps the most unforgivable; since it abuses them all over again and adds to their disconnect from our kehila – when what they need most is our acceptance and love.
With that in mind, I respectfully ask our readers to please stand with the brave survivors and their families who have the courage to take the lonely path of coming forward and pressing charges, with the other silent and silenced victims who are watching the high-profile cases unfold very carefully to determine whether they too should risk going to the authorities, and with all survivors of abuse and molestation.Precisely because the predators attempt to discredit and disgrace the victims and their families, is all the more reason why we need to reach out to them and let them know how much we respect and care for them.Kindly take a few minutes from your busy schedules and post a Rosh Hashana bracha in the thread* following these lines, and have them in mind in your Tefillos. Previous efforts to garner public support for victims were extraordinarily comforting to them, as they help restore their faith in humanity and let them know that the vast majority of our community members are behind them.
Please include your real names and the names of the cities where you live to personalize your message and to send a clear message that we proudly stand with the survivors and their families.
Abuse survivors are our heilege neshamosour holy souls. They have endured unspeakable trauma in their lives and had their childhood cruelly stolen from them, because they learned at a very young age, at the mercy of cunning and evil predators, to never trust again. Nonetheless, the vast, overwhelming majority of survivors seek no revenge or retribution. They only hope and pray that today’s children be spared from the horror they endured.
Regardless of their observance level, we ought to welcome these survivors as full and respected members of our kehilos. We ought to commit to them that we will do everything possible to remove from our community those who prey on our innocent children and speak truth to power if necessary in the coming year to keep all our children safe and secure.If the great tzadik, Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev zt’l were alive, I imagine that he would embrace abuse survivors in his shul on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur and proclaim to Hashem, “Master of the Universe, look at these heilige neshamos who have endured so much with such dignity, and in their ze’chus inscribe us all in the Book of Life.”
Best wishes for a k’siva v’chasima tova and may Hashem answer our tefilos b’rachamim u’vrazon.
*Harry Maryles: As always, I welcome all comments to this post. Rabbi Horowitz is also taking comments in the form of Brachos to survivors on his website. If you can, it would be wonderful to get as many readers of this blog as possible to do so. Once again, Ksiva V’Chasima Tova to all!

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.

AIPAC Praises Obama Prior to Holiday

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

As America’s election day  approaches, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), issued a statement thanking President Obama for his support of Israel.

“With Israel and America facing unprecedented threats and challenges in the Middle East, we deeply appreciate the close and unshakeable partnership between the United States and Israel. President Obama and the bipartisan, bicameral congressional leadership, have deepened America’s support for Israel in difficult times,” said the organization, in a statement issued before Rosh Hashana on Sunday.

The statement rankled supporters of Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who has repeatedly accused Obama of policies which “throw Israel under the bus”, such as forcing Israel to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority and refusing to subject Iran’s nuclear program to red lines which would trigger US military action.

Happy 5773 From The Yishai Fleisher Show

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai is joined by alternative peace activist Baruch Widen, to talk about the nature of Rosh Hashana and how the true meaning of the holiday is not being observed.  They move on to talk about the need for both love and respect in all types of relationships and how it does not exist in the relationship between the west and a majority of the nations in the Middle East and end the segment by discussing the return of the Jewish Warrior to the world and get a quick check in from Malkah about Rosh Hashana preparations in the Fleisher home.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
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Parshas Nitzavim

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Vol. LXIII No. 37                                           5772

 

New York City
CANDLE LIGHTING TIME
September 14, 2072 – 27 Elul 5772
6:46 p.m. NYC E.D.T.

 

Sabbath Ends: 7:50 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Weekly Reading: Nitzavim
Weekly Haftara: Sos Assis (Isaiah 61:10-63:9)
Daf Yomi: Berachos 44
Mishna Yomit: Nedarim 5:4-5
Halacha Yomit: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 124:3-5
Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Tum’as Mes chap. 6-8
Earliest time for Tallis and Tefillin: 5:40 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Latest Kerias Shema: 9:43 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Pirkei Avos: 5-6

Shabbos: All tefillos as customary, including Av HaRachamim, Tzidkos’cha, however at Maariv, Motza’ei Shabbos we do not say Vi’yehi Noam v’Atah Kadosh.

Sunday, Erev Rosh Hashana, we arise early to say the special additional Selichos found in the printed Selichos. Shacharis as usual – except that we omit Tachanun. We do not blow the shofar this morning in order to create a separation between the customary tekios of Elul and the tekios of Rosh Hashana, which are a command. We also annul any vows that we might have made lest we enter Yom Tov with these unfulfilled vows. This Hataras Nedarim must be done before a court of three who release one of one’s vows. We note from the text of Hataras Nedarim that only those vows that may be annulled are included in this hatara. Some are accustomed to fast half a day, until chatzos hayom (N.Y.C.12:52 p.m. E.D.T.)

We take haircuts, shower and immerse ourselves in the mikveh after chatzos hayom, in order to purify ourselves for this very holy day of Rosh Hashana, when all of mankind are judged.

Sunday evening, when we light the candles (6:46 p.m. N.Y.C. E.D.T.) we recite the blessings “… Lehadlik Ner Shel Yom Tov” and Shehecheyanu …” Mincha (as usual, no textual alterations as we find in the subsequent prayers due to Aseres Yemei Teshuva). For the entire Aseres Yemei Teshuva we add the following in the Shemoneh Esreh: Zochrenu LeChayyim, Mi chamocha. We substitute HaMelech Hakadosh for Hak-el Hakadosh during these ten days. If one forgot and said Hak‑el Hakadosh in place of Hamelech Hakadosh and did not quickly correct himself, he repeats from the start of the Shemoneh Esreh. (In the weekday Shemoneh Esreh we substitute Hamelech hamishpat for Melech ohev tzedaka umishpat). Before Vechol hachayyim we add U’che’sov lechayyim. In Sim shalom, right before the beracha Besefer chayyim . . . Ashkenaz generally conclude the beracha with Oseh hashalom while Sefarad conclude with Hamevarech es amo Yisrael bashalom as usual.

Maariv: Birkas Kerias Shema (concluding Hashkivenu with U’feros . . . Ve’al Yerushalayim, as usual), we add Tik’u bachodesh shofar bakeseh le’yom chagenu. The chazzan then recites Kaddish and adds Le’eila [u]le’eila mikol birchasa in substitution of Le’eila min kol birchasa (some congregations do not make this alteration).

The Shemoneh Esreh is the Rosh Hashana text as found in the Machzor. Following the Shemoneh Esreh, Sefarad add LeDavid Mizmor L’Hashem and the chazzan concludes with Kaddish Tiskabbel – we conclude all Kaddish recitals with Oseh hashalom. Some congregations recite kiddush in the synagogue . We conclude with Mekaddesh Yisrael veyom hazikaron, Shehecheyanu, then Aleinu, LeDavid Hashem Ori (Sefarad have said it at Mincha), the respective Kaddish recitals by mourners and Adon Olam [some add or only say Yigdal}.

As we leave the synagogue all greet each other with Le’shana Tova Tikasevu . . .

At home, Kiddush (the text for Rosh Hashana). We wash for the meal. We recite Hamotzi and instead of dipping the challah in salt we dip it in honey (until Shemini Atzeres). We prepare an apple which we dip in honey as well , and recite Borei Pri Ha’etz. We eat from the apple and then recite Yehi Ratzon . . . Shetechaddesh Aleinu Shana Tova U’mesuka. We also have various Simanei Milsa at the seuda – special foods that symbolize good omens – each with its own beracha. These are found in the Machzor.

Monday morning: The chazzan dons a kittel – in some congregations all congregants don a kittel as well. We then recite the usual tefillos in the Machzor, Korbanos, Kaddish D’Rabbanan. Pesukei DeZimra are said slower 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.

Today in 1972 – Democratic Hopeful George McGovern Sends New Year’s Wish to US Jews

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Sen. George McGovern, the Democratic Presidential candidate, greeted American Jews today on the occasion of the High Holy Days. “Mrs. McGovern joins me in wishing our Jewish friends and Jews around the world a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year,” the South Dakotan said.

“Traditionally,” McGovern’s message continued. “the High Holy Days has been a period for reflection and rededication. Jews have chosen the Days of Awe as a time for the individual to look at himself to examine how he can better fulfill his responsibilities to his Maker and his fellow man.

“Rosh Hashana symbolizes a reaffirmation of the values that have shaped the Jewish role within the world community. It marks a renewed commitment to the task of improving the world unto the Almighty. I join the Jewish community in the prayer that the New Year 5733 will bring a time of peace, Justice and brotherhood for all men.” McGovern’s message concluded.

Q & A: What Constitutes Shemot? (Part III)

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Question: Since my daughter in high school started researching the topic of shemot for her school newspaper, I have become more and more confused. Does shemot only include items, such as books and sheets of papers, with Hashem’s name on them? Or does it even include items containing Torah concepts or even just Hebrew letters? For example, how do you advise I dispose of The Jewish Press? Finally, concerning Hashem’s name, must the name be spelled out fully in Hebrew to constitute shemot? What if it is in English in abbreviated form – “G-d,” for example?

Shlomo Newfield
(Via E-Mail)

 

Answer: The Mechaber (Yoreh De’ah 276:9-10), referring to writing and repairing a Sefer Torah, specifies certain names of G-d that may not be erased once written: Kel from Elo-kim and Kah (which is either a name in itself or part of the name of Hava’yah. The Rema (ad loc.) includes alef-daled from Adnut and alef-heh from Eh-yeh. These halachot extend to any writing, but authorities differ on whether they apply to languages other than Hebrew.

My uncle, Harav Sholom Klass, zt”l, helped popularize the accepted style of omitting a letter in the English words “G-d” and “L-rd” in The Jewish Press from its very inception in 1960. In “Responsa of Modern Judaism II,” two of his responses address this issue. The first (Book II, p. 535) stresses that the holiness of G-d’s name is related to it being written in Hebrew. The Rambam (Hilchos Tefilla 14:10) writes, based on various statements in the Gemara, that when Shimon Hatzaddik died, his fellow kohanim stopped using the Holy Name (Shem Hameforash) so that disrespectful and unruly people would not learn it, since the Holy Spirit departed from the Temple.

Many discussions appear in halacha regarding versions of G-d’s names that imply specific characteristics of G-d and whether they may be erased once written. The Shach (Yoreh De’ah 179:11) writes that while the name of G-d is holy only in Hebrew and may be erased – since the word “G-d” in a secular language is not His true name – it is still preferable to be as careful as possible. The Beth Yosef (Tur, Yoreh De’ah 276) quotes the Rashbatz’s opinion that G-d’s name is not holy and may be erased – whether written in Hebrew or any other language – if it was written without any intent of holiness. The Beth Lechem Yehuda (Yoreh De’ah 276:10) agrees with the intention requirement, especially in a secular language, and stresses that if the name was intended for a holy purpose, we are not to erase or discard it.

The Aruch HaShulchan (Yoreh De’ah 276:24) quotes the Rema and other poskim to explain that the name of G-d which appears in our siddurim (the letter “yud” twice) may be erased if necessary. He also quotes the Tashbatz who warns that while the name of G-d in different languages may be erased, we still avoid writing it because it may be discarded into a trash basket and will put the Holy Name to shame. In Choshen Mishpat 27:3, the Aruch HaShulchan decries the custom of writing letters in any language using the name of G-d since they are discarded, and when G-d’s name is put to shame, respect for G-d erodes and poverty descends on the world.

In the second related responsum by Rabbi Sholom Klass (Book II, p. 533), he suggests passing the result of his labor, The Jewish Press, along to others after one is done reading it and explains printing the word “G-d” with a hyphen as a method to avoid profaning the Holy Name. He cites Rosh Hashana 18b regarding a feast the sages instituted to celebrate the day Israelites corrected the way they worded notes and bonds so as to avoid mentioning G-d’s name since these documents are ultimately discarded.

My uncle quotes some halachic authorities who allow writing G-d’s name and even erasing it in a secular context (such as on making and destroying coins). The Beth Yosef (on Tur to Yoreh De’ah 276), Rashbatz (ad loc.), and Shach (Yoreh De’ah 179:11) agree that without the writer’s intent to imbue holiness (especially if writing in a language other than Hebrew) G-d’s name may be erased or disposed of.

* * * *

We have received numerous inquiries regarding disposing The Jewish Press after one is finished reading it. One must understand the thought and effort that is involved in the production of a quality publication such as The Jewish Press, especially in our time when newer technology allows us to download complete texts which arrive from various worthy sources and authors. Many of these texts contain G-d’s name (in English) spelled out in various ways, which, in a Torah column, is obviously there for holy purposes.

Some authors ask that G-d’s name not be written out in full; they prefer that their text be edited to consistently read “G-d or L-rd” as the case may be. This practice is in line with the view of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, zt”l (Iggrot Moshe, Yoreh De’ah, 1:172).

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-what-constitutes-shemot-part-iii/2012/02/22/

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