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May 5, 2016 / 27 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Yom Kippur’

Kapparot ‘Sacrificial Chicken’ Ritual Gets Green Light in New York

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

The much-embattled Jewish ritual of using a purchased, donated live chicken as a “kapparah,” or sacrifice with which to absolve one’s sins before Yom Kippur has been given a green light in New York.

The purchased chicken is returned to the organization after completing the prayer and is then ritually slaughtered and donated to the poor for food. In some communities money has replaced the rite where chickens have become unavailable or where politics have made the issue so unpalatable that it community leaders no longer have the energy to cope with the fallout.

State Supreme Court Justice Debra James decided against a petition by The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos, ruling there was insufficient evidence to prove the ritual a public nuisance, the New York Post reported last week.

The lawsuit was filed this past July and named several rabbis, synagogues, the New York Police Department and New York City as well. It accused the NYC Health Department and the NYPD of aiding and abetting in the ritual by blocking off streets and sidewalks, and not enforcing city and state health and animal cruelty laws.

Various animal rights organizations, including PETA at one point, have annually made the same attempt.

Rabbi Shea Hecht, chairman of the board of the Chabad-Lubavitch-linked National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education (NCFJE), told JewishPress.com in a phone call on Sunday the organization is greatly relieved the judge upheld the ancient custom.

“We are very happy and proud that the Judge held up our Constitutional rights, which are based on freedom of religion, and has allowed us to keep this ancient minhag (custom). Although we recognize that this issue is not over,” he added, “we are thankful to God that we have the opportunity to carry out this important mitzvah to its fullest measure.”

The ritual is carried out as follows:

The live chicken is held above one’s head, and then slowly moved around in three sets of three circles as the petitioner recites a prayer that speaks of the “shadow of death… foolish sinners, afflicted because of their sinful ways and their wrongdoings.”

At no time is it considered permissible to handle the bird roughly, nor is it permissible to torment or upset the bird in any way, which itself is considered the separate sin of tza’ar ba’alei chaim (causing distress to a live creature of God).

The prayer (a brief excerpt follows) goes on to urge repentance, and describe how to expiate one’s sins on the day before Yom Kippur.

“They cry out to the Lord in their distress; He saves them from their afflictions. Redeem him from going down to the grave; I have found expiation [for him]… This is my exchange, this is my substitute, this is my expiation. This rooster/hen shall go to its death and I shall proceed to a good, long life and peace.”

Hana Levi Julian

New Year, Old Weather

Friday, September 11th, 2015

Rosh HaShanah will be hot, not as hot as the miserably sticky days Israel has suffered this summer, but still hot. And without dust.

The long-term outlook is a bit optimistic, with temperatures dropping a bit after the Fast of Gedalya, which begins the morning after the two days of Rosh HaShanah.

The haze that blanketed Israel this past week with a blanket of dust will get in its last licks for another day.

Temperatures will hover around 34 degrees Celsius (94 Fahrenheit) today and on Shabbat and will drop two degrees Celsius for Rosh Hashanah.

The mercury will fall another tiny notch on the fast day to 31 C (88 F) and later in the week to 28-29 C (83-84 F).

It is too early to predict the weather for Yom Kippur, but weather models indicate that it will be a bit cooler, or at least less hot, with the chance of a drop or two of rain.

However, the models indicate that there may be another round of hot weather but with extreme changes during the holiday of Sukkot.

Stay tuned.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Netanyahu Pledges to Beef Up Security at Patriarchs’ Cave in Hebron

Sunday, September 6th, 2015

Israel will do its “utmost so that Jews will be able to go everywhere safely, especially to the Tomb of the Patriarchs,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Cabinet Sunday.

Tens of thousands of Jews visit the site, known, in Hebrew as Ma’arat HaMachpelah, for Slichot prayers between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.

It is the burial site of the forefathers Avraham, Isaac (Yitzchak) and Jacob as well as Sarah, Rebecca (Rivkah) and Leah. Rachel, Yaakov’s second wife, is buried at Rachel’s Tomb (Kever Rachel), which also attracts tens of thousands of people between the two High Holidays.

The Patriarch’s Cave also is the traditional burial place of Adam and Eve.

Palestinian Authority terrorists have escalated attacks at the two sites in recent months.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Religious Zionist ‘ Tzohar’ Group Launches ‘Listening Together for Shofar’

Sunday, September 6th, 2015

More than 55,000 people will be hosted by members of the religious Zionist movement this year in 55 different locations around Israel to celebrate the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana.

It is a new project that celebrates the 16th year of the Yom Kippur ‘Praying Together’ program carried out in 295 locations and sponsored by Tzohar, the religious Zionist rabbinical organization in Israel.

After 15 years of successful and expanding Yom Kippur programs, Tzohar will now also host families to hear and learn about the shofar and its importance during the Rosh Hashana prayers.

Over 350 Tzohar volunteers and their families are being placed all around the country to accommodate all those communities who wish to participate. “Going to a religious synagogue can be an intimidating and sometimes off-putting experience for someone who doesn’t regularly attend or associate with that particular community,” said Rabbi David Stav, co-founder of Tzohar.

“We have seen such an outpouring of desire for Jewish connection by the secular community, especially relating the High Holidays, that we knew something had to be done to accommodate them.

“By moving these important Jewish life cycle events to a neutral locations – such as community centers or event halls – it becomes more much inviting and accessible for anyone interested in connecting with their Jewish tradition.” All attendees are provided with the same siddur or machzor to make it easier to follow along, as well as with explanatory pamphlet written by Tzohar about the customs, prayers and meaning of the High Holidays to help guide the participant throughout the services. “Tzohar is continuously adding additional programs to encourage Jewish participation in life cycle events,” said Yakov Gaon, Executive Vice President of Tzohar.

“The powerful reaction to the Yom Kippur program and our other holiday activities showed the excitement and connection people feel. Adding Rosh Hashana programming was a natural next step.”

Hana Levi Julian

Government Decides not to Abandon Gush Etzion Memorial Park

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon will not expel people deployed at the Oz VeGaon Memorial Park in Gush Etzion, contrary to fears expressed by Women in Green earlier this week.

The nationalist organization turned to Gush Etzion Regional Council leader Davidi Perl, who spoke with Ya’alon, leading to a deciding not only to keep the park intact but also to authorize it.

It was dedicated last year in memory of Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Sha’ar, the three victims of Hamas kidnap-murderers from the Hebron area.

The park is located immediately east of the Gush Etzion junction and is populated by a family who protect it from Arab vandals.

There are no intentions of turning it into a full-fledged outpost, which the Defense Minister may have incorrectly assumed was the plan of nationalists. Buildings at the park are used for displays and hands-on activities for children.

“The minister of defense has once again proven that he is a friend of the settlement enterprise,” Perl said after Ya’alon’s decision.

Oz VeGaon announced on Wednesday that Selichot prayers will be held at the park Thursday at 12:30 a.m.

Sephardi Jews have been saying Selichot prayers since the first day of the Hebrew month of Elul. Ashkenazi Jews begin reciting Selichot this Saturday night. The prayers are concluded the eve of Yom Kippur.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Jeb Bush Seeking Jewish Support

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Jeb Bush is preparing to reach out the senior Jewish leaders to endorse him for Republican party’s presidential nominee, the Jewish Insider reported.

The website it obtained an invitation that Bush’s staff sent to Jewish leaders to form a “National Jewish Leadership Team,” with individuals to attend a special briefing with Bush at his campaign headquarters in Miami Sept, 25, two days after Yom Kippur.

With at least 16 other contenders for the nomination, Bush is retrying to get a head start on bundling up Jewish support, some of which already is committed to Mike Huckabee.

The proposed Leadership Team, is scheduled to meet for a dinner at the Miami Beach home of two of is Jewish supporters on the day before, which is one day after the Yom Kippur holiday and fast.

The hosts are Glenda and Ronnie Krongold, who is leader in the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC).

Originally from West Virginia, he dealt in real estate in Florida and built a real estate company. One his partners in a project was “Jeb Bush and Associates,” according to the RJC website, which also noted that Krongold has been very active in Israeli Bonds.

The website states:

In 1985, at the request of a Jewish activist and publisher Phil Blazer, Ron called upon Jeb to intercede with his father, the Vice President, on behalf of approximately 1,000 Ethiopian Jews who were starving and dying in camps in Ethiopia. Thereafter through the efforts of the Vice President and a group of concerned Jews, the majority of the Ethiopians were rescued and flown to Israel by the United States government.

In 1990 Ron traveled to Russia, before the fall of Communism, along with then CEO of Bonds Meir Rosanne , Michael Siegal (who is now the chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America) and six other Israel Bonds leaders to help with the extraction and settlement of Jews from Russia to Israel.

 

 

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Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

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.

Photo of the Day

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/making-a-shofar/2015/08/20/

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