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October 9, 2015 / 26 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Rosh Hashanah’

Union to Strike Ben Gurion Airport 2 Hours Sunday

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

A sure sign that Rosh HaShanah is on the way is a strike at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport.

The airport workers’ committee once again has found a reason to shut down the airport during the peak summer travel season and only two weeks before high passenger traffic on the eve of the Rosh HaShanah new year holiday.

The workers’ committee excuse this time is its “solidarity” with the Israel Broadcasting Authority, an over-budgeted and over-staffed agency whose employees are in an uproar because of a long overdue government decision to overhaul the agency.

The strike at the airport will be between 10 a.m. and noon, when no flights will be allowed to take off or land.

Workers committee chairman Pinchas Idan revealed his real fear. by stating that if the government gets way and makes the Broadcasting Authority more efficient, it might do the same at the airport.

In his words, reported by Globes:

I call on all workers committees to demonstrate solidarity with the Israel Broadcasting Authority employees in their struggle which is being led by the Histadrut. I call on the legislation to be halted and dialogue begun.

Today the Broadcasting Authority. Tomorrow all of us.

Making a Shofar

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Rabbi Nissan of Efrat teaches how to make a shofar and blow it. In the current Hebrew month Elul, the month of Selichot (forgiveness), there is the Jewish custom of blowing the Shofar every morning.

Orthodox Rabbis to Lobby near Rosh HaShanah against Deal with Iran

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Rosh HaShanah marks the beginning of the “Ten Days of Repentance,” perfect timing for Orthodox rabbis to work on the conscience of Jewish Congressmen who have not joined the opposition to the nuclear agreement with Iran.

The Orthodox Union, better known as the OU for its symbol on foods it approves as kosher, sent out a letter to its affiliated rabbis and the Rabbinical Council of America that urged them to arrive in Washington on Sept. 9, less than a week before the Jewish New Year and Tens Days of Repentance leading to Yom Kippur begin.

The letter stated:

We are confident that hundreds of rabbis traveling to Washington on the eve of this vote and just days before Rosh Hashanah will have a highly visible and real impact upon this fateful vote in Congress.

We will only have this impact with your participation.

Chabad Emissary Spends Rosh HaShanah in a Nepal Prison

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

The Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidic movement did deliberately sent some volunteers to spend time in jails this Rosh HaShana — but that was in the United States. Chabad-Lubavitcher emissaries are sent to many places on their missions to bring the light of Torah to Jews in all corners of the globe.

But Rabbi Chezki Lifshitz, the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s emissary to Nepal had not planned to spend his Jewish new year in the Kathmandu prison. However, a mistake made by a clerk stamping his visa when Lifshitz last entered the country led to his arrest just before the start of the Rosh HaShanah holiday.

Instead of directing the prayer services and managing the massive holiday meals served to the hundreds of backpackers and tourists who pass through the Chabad Center, the Kathmandu emissary spent the first day and a half of the holiday behind bars.

His wife Chani Lifshitz, meanwhile, instantly reached out to World Chabad-Lubavitch Headquarters, who contacted the Israeli and U.S. foreign ministries.

Both in turn contacted the government of Nepal and exerted pressure to ensure the mistake was rectified in time for the emissary to be freed before the Sabbath began.

A team of volunteers, meanwhile, did what they could to fill in and run the prayer services and manage the meals – and suddenly discovered just how much work had been getting done by the Chabad-Lubavitch emissary without anyone ever realizing it!

The Kathmandu Chabad Center is responsible for producing the famed annual largest Passover seder in the world.

BB Gunman Fires at Jews in Baltimore on Rosh HaShanah

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

An unidentified man, possibly of Middle Eastern descent, shot at Orthodox Jews on Rosh HaShanah with a BB gun and blasted a hole in a synagogue window in the Baltimore area late Thursday afternoon.

No one was injured. But residents in the heavily Jewish-populated area are worried.

And it’s about time.

“It says something about what is going on in the world in terms of the anti-Semitism that is growing,” Bernice Seiden told Baltimore’s WJZ television.

The attacker drove by the Bais Hamedrash and Mesivta of Baltimore while several Orthodox Jews were walking and yelled, “Jews, Jews, Jews” as he fired with what apparently was a BB gun.

The pellets missed the targets, some of whom were children, and hit a synagogue window.

The suspect was described as a white male but with a dark complexion, possibly of Middle Eastern descent. He could be charged with a hate crime if caught.

“It’s awful. It’s a very sad state that that’s what we have to deal with. Nothing is safe and nothing is sacred anymore,” Marcy and Steve Sher said.

The attack gives American Jews a lot more to think about during the Rosh HaShanah-Yom Kippur holiday period.

Happy New Year.

Reflections On The Shofar

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Autumn approaches. Before we even realize it, the weather begins to turn, the colors start to deepen. We prepare for a new season. Our activities include adding layers of covering to provide protection against the cold weather soon to follow.

But for every Jew in the world, autumn’s announcement to “Take Cover!” Is preceded and overshadowed by a piercing call that brings a different, contradictory message: “Shed Your ‘Cover.’ ”

That vibrant call, made every year at Rosh Hashanah, is issued from the shofar. When blown on Rosh Hashanah, it reminds us that prior to the conquest of Jericho, Joshua blasted the shofar and “the walls came tumbling down.” On Rosh Hashanah we are taught that true self-analysis involves the breaking down of walls. We all wear all kinds of disguises; penetrate those walls, the shofar says, remove the masks and allow the true persona to emerge.

A tale is told of a desperately sad man who sought counseling. After speaking with him, the doctor suggested he begin intensive therapy the following week. To carry him over, the counselor offered the man a free ticket to see the famous comedian Cornelius, who was in town that night. “He’s hilarious,” the doctor said. “He’ll make you laugh…you’ll feel better.”

With that, the man’s face contorted in pain and he burst into tears. While his patient continued his bitter weeping, the doctor probed. “Why are you crying so? I’ve mapped out a plan to give you relief. Go see Cornelius, he’ll help you.” To this, the desperate man replied amid sobs, “But you don’t understand. I am Cornelius.”

Truthfulness can sometimes be bitter. Looking into yourself can be painful, especially if you think you have little to offer. Here again, the shofar teaches a lesson: Words do not emanate from the ram’s horn but rather a cry – a call whose sounds emerge from the breath of the inner soul, of the person blowing the shofar.

Mystics maintain that some human beings may be evil externally but if you look deeply into the inner being of any person, you will find goodness. The shofar pleads: Return to that inner core, retrieve the power of goodness we so often overlook but which is inherent in every person.

Yet another legend: A short apple tree grew beside a tall cedar. Every night the apple tree would look up and sigh, believing the stars in the sky were hanging from the branches of its tall friend. The little apple tree would lift its branches heavenward and plead “But where are my stars?”

As time passed, the apple tree grew. Its branches produced leaves, passersby enjoyed its shade, and its apples were delectable. But at night, when it looked to the skies, it still felt discontented, inadequate: Other trees had stars, but it did not. It happened once that a strong wind blew, hurling apples to the ground. They fell in such a way that they split horizontally instead of vertically. In the very center of each apple was the outline of a star. The apple tree had possessed stars all along. The inner core was always good, and so it remains.

As with apples, all the more with human beings who must be good. After all, “God does not make junk.” The stars we possess are the seeds of potential goodness; we have the power to rise, but also to fall. What we do with the inner goodness depends on the individual, on each one of us. We can fly higher than the clouds or we can sink deeper than the fish. Such is the challenge of being human; majesty and failure are but a hair’s breadth apart.

A final tale, about an artist who made a sculpture of the most beautiful person anyone had ever seen. Years later, the artist decided it would be interesting to sculpt the ugliest human being as a counterpart to his earlier work.

Israel’s Population Nears 9 Million

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Israel’s population grew by nearly 200,000 in the past 12 months and is 8,904,373 three days before the Rosh HaShanah New Year, which begins Wednesday night.

The figures include 24,801 new immigrants whom Israel welcomed the past 12 months.

More than 176,000 new babies were born in the current Hebrew year, according to the Ministry of Population and immigration, and baby boys outnumbered girls by more than 5,000.

The most popular Hebrew names were traditional, with Yosef, Daniel and Ori leading the pack for boys. The most frequent names for girls were Tamar, Noa and Shira.

The divorce rate was approximately 25 percent, far below the rate of Western countries.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israels-population-nears-9-million/2014/09/21/

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