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4 Kislev 5778 -
? Wednesday, November 22, 2017


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At First There Was Chaos

Chaos - that is how the world is described at its inception in the book of Beraishis (Genesis). Confusion. A lack of clarity and boundaries. Or, as I teach my kindergartners, "a mishmash".

My Miraculous Hospital Experience

Since suffering from colitis as a teen, I finally adopted a strict diet in my 30s that ended my torment. It wasn’t easy to forgo white flour, white sugar and all chemical additives, but it meant that I spend the last 40 years pretty much free of doctors, medications and illness, thank God. Thus, I was surprised when two weeks before Rosh Hashanah, I began to experience increasingly severe stomach discomfort – until I was barely able to move. Despite what I was soon to endure, it helped greatly to focus on the moment-to-moment miracles.

Who Performed Avraham’s Bris?

In this week’s parshah Hashem commands Avraham Avinu to perform the mitzvah of bris milah. The pasuk tells us that Avraham was 99 when he performed the bris milah on himself. The Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer (29) and Tosafos, in Rosh Hashanah 11a, say that Avraham’s bris was performed on Yom Kippur. The Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer adds that Shem, Noach’s son, performed the bris on Avraham. There are several explanations as to why Avraham had Shem perform his milah.

Baltimore Sun Features Sports Fans’ High Holidays Dilemma

An article in the Baltimore Sun featured the conflict fans of the Baltimore Orioles have with the yearly Yom Kippur observance, showcasing how lovers of baseball keep their finger on the pulse of sports as the Day of Atonement takes place.

Yom Kippur Guide for the Perplexed 2012

Yom Kippur is observed on the tenth day of the Jewish month of Tishrey, whose astrological sign is Libra (♎). Libra symbolizes key themes of Yom Kippur: scales, justice, balance, truth, symmetry, sensitivity and optimism. Libra is ruled by the planet Venus (Noga, נגה, in Hebrew), which reflects divine light and love of the other person. The numerical value of Venus, נגה, is 58 just like the numerical value of אזן, which is the Hebrew root of “balance” and “scale.”

Rosh Hashanah: A National, Not Personal, Holiday

We are used to assuming that Rosh Hashanah is a holiday of repentance and atonement, a holiday of judgment, and the holiday when our fate for the coming year is determined. The Selichot prayers before and after Rosh Hashanah add to the sense of personal days of judgment, an obvious truth.

My Personal Shofar Blower

Rosh Hashanah memories take us to our shuls, homes and families. They remind us of promises made about how we would change our lives and rearrange our priorities. There may also be memories of the delicacies we ate when we were children – the chicken soup, gefilte fish and great desserts. And one sound, the sound of the shofar blasting away with its shrill notes of tekiah, shevarim... and finally the long, very last sound – the tekiah gedolah.

Rosh Hashanah Guide for the Perplexed

Former Israeli Consul General in the U.S. Yoram Ettinger offers a series of points regarding Rosh Hashanah.

What Bill Belichick and the Patriots Can Teach Us about the Days of Awe

Let us begin our year on the right foot towards another Super Bowl season.

Why We Blow Shofar

Here's a lovely image of two kids blowing shofars on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year celebration, at the Saint Paul...

Netanyahu Rosh Hashanah Message Highlights Gov’t Achievements

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

President Obama’s Rosh Hashanah Greeting (Video)

At sundown this Sunday, the Jewish community here in the United States and all over the world will celebrate the start of the new year. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur mark a time of prayer and self-reflection, and offers Americans of all faiths an opportunity to focus on what unites us instead of what divides us, to work together to make this a more perfect union and to continue the work of repairing the world.

A Sweet New Year

At the Ramat Gan Safari, near Tel Aviv, the animals were treated to sweet fruits and honey in celebration of the approaching of Rosh...

‘To Be A Bee Or Not To Be, A Bee’

An elderly carpenter was eagerly preparing for retirement. When he informed his employer/contractor of his plans, the employer asked him if he could do him a personal favor and build one more house before he left. After so many years of working together the carpenter felt he could not refuse, and so he begrudgingly agreed. It quickly became apparent that the carpenter’s heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and he used inferior quality materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

In The King’s Presence

We all know that there are some synagogues that, unfortunately, only reach full capacity several days a year. There is something about these days that arouses even many unaffiliated Jews to attend High Holiday Services. In fact, each one of us also feels the holiness, and it helps us to be on our best behavior. We make sure to come on time to davening and we daven slower than usual. We are extra careful in our observance of halacha and how we treat the members of our family.

Two Days Rosh Hashanah, Eruvin And Eggs

Why is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, so different from other Jewish holidays? On the face of it, it does not seem to follow any pattern. It is celebrated for two days, not only in the Diaspora but also in Israel. Yet the Sages refer to the two days of Rosh Hashanah as one long day – yoma arichta.

Latma’s Rosh Hashanah Music Video

Latma's Rosh Hashanah greetings music video. Enjoy!

Mentioning Rosh Hashanah In Davening

The Mishnah in Rosh Hashanah 32a lists the Yom Tov’s berachos and the order in which we must daven on Rosh Hashanah. The Mishnah says in the name of Rabbi Akiva that we begin with the berachah of avos. We then recite, in this order: gevuros (atah gibor); kedushas Hashem; kedushas hayom (we incorporate malchuyos in that berachah); zichronos; and shofros. This is followed by avodah hoda’ah and birchas kohanim (sim shalom). The Gemara there brings a beraisa that cites a source in the Torah for reciting each one of these berachos.

Rosh Hashanah: The Prayer Without Words

You've seen the scene before – the congregants are silent, the tension can be cut with a butter knife, all eyes are peeled on the bimah in the center, two blessings are uttered, and the silence is pierced….by the most primitive horn one could find!

If Rebbe Nachman were Alive Today

When you are sick, do you go to the doctor, or the student of the doctor? So why go to Uman where Rebbe Nachman is buried, when you could go to the cities in Israel where his teachers are buried?

Be Happy, Now!

Rabbi Kook explains that this misplacing of priorities between the means and the goal stems from the sin of the earth during the days of Creation. By understanding the depth of this teaching, we can learn to be happy, not only when we finally attain our goals and ideals, but also at every moment of our lives.

Jewish Agency Provides Emergency Assistance to Netivot Families whose Homes Were Damaged By Rocket...

The emergency funding is provided through the Jewish Agency’s Fund for the Victims of Terror and will be transferred before Rosh Hashanah.

Housekeeping for God

The Wailing Wall's Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz and his crew on Sunday removed thousands of handwritten notes placed in the crevices of the ancient Wall, just...

Thoughts Make the Man

Dear Friends, the clock is ticking down to Rosh HaShanah. You can hear the shofars blasting all over the world. T’shuva may seem like a towering mountain too high to climb, but it’s really not as hard as you think.

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