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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Yom’

Yom Kippur: Guide for the Perplexed

Monday, October 10th, 2016

1. Yom Kippur is a day of hope and optimism, in addition to a solemn day of soul-searching. Yom Kippur provides unique awareness of one’s own character and track record, as well as the opportunity to upgrade relationships with relatives, friends, associates and the community at-large.

2. Yom Kippur’s focus on forgiveness highlights humility, fallibility, soul-searching faith, compassion, thoughtfulness, being considerate, accepting responsibility and magnanimity.

3. The first human being, Adam, was created on the first day of Tishrei. Human-beings are accorded an opportunity to recreate themselves spiritually, each year, on Yom Kippur, the tenth day of Tishrei – an Acadian word for forgiveness and Genesis. Yom Kippur culminates ten days of genuine, heart-driven atonement/repentance, which begin on Rosh Hashanah. Ten has special significance in Judaism: God’s abbreviation is the tenth Hebrew letter (Yod – י); there are ten attributes of God – Divine perfection – which were highlighted during the Creation; the Ten Commandments; the Ten Plagues; there are ten reasons for blowing the Shofar; one is commanded to extend a 10% gift to God (tithe); Ten Martyrs (Jewish leaders) were tortured/murdered by the Roman Empire; there were ten generations between Adam and Noah and between Noah and Abraham; a ten-person-quorum (Minyan in Hebrew) is required for a collective Jewish prayer; etc.

4. Yom Kippur is observed on the tenth day of the Jewish month of Tishrei, 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. (Noga is the name of my oldest granddaughter.)

5. Yom Kippur is a day of forgiveness for sins committed against God. It is customary to dedicate the eve of Yom Kippur to apologies for sins committed against fellow human-beings. However, apology or compensation are not sufficient if they do not elicit expressed forgiveness by the injured person.

6. Yom Kippur commemorates God’s covenant with the Jewish people and God’s forgiveness for the sin of the Golden Calf.

7. Yom Kippur and the Jubilee highlight liberty and subordination to God. The Jubilee – sanctifying each 50th year by proclaiming liberty, as inscribed on the Liberty Bell – is announced by blowing the shofar (a ritual ram’s horn) on Yom Kippur. The Jubilee liberates people physically and spiritually. The word “jubilee” (יובל) is a Hebrew synonym for shofar.

8. The Hebrew word Kippur, כיפור (atonement/repentance), is a derivative of the Biblical word Kaporet כפורת,, the cover of the Holy Ark in the Sanctuary, and Kopher, כופר, the cover of Noah’s Ark and the Holy Altar in the Temple. Yom Kippur resembles a spiritual cover (dome), which separates between the holy and the mundane, between spiritualism and materialism. The Kippah, כיפה (skullcap, Yarmulka’), which covers one’s head during prayers, reflects a spiritual dome.

9. Yom Kippur calls for repentance – Teshuvah, תשובה, in Hebrew. The root of Teshuvah is similar to the root of the Hebrew word for return, שובה – returning to positive values – and Shvitah שביתה – cessation (strike) of mundane thoughts, actions and eating. It is also similar to the root of Shabbat, שבת. Yom Kippur is also called Shabbat Shabbaton – the supreme Sabbath.

10. The Hebrew spelling of “fast” (צם/צום) – abstinence from food – reflects the substance of Yom Kippur. The Hebrew word for “fast” is the root of the Hebrew word for “reduction” and “shrinking” (צמצום) of one’s wrong-doing. It is also the root of the Hebrew words for “slave” (צמית) and “eternity” (צמיתות) – eternal enslavement to God, but not to human-beings. “Fast” is also the root of עצמי (being oneself),עצום (awesome), עצמה (power),עצמאות (independence).

More on Yom Kippur and other Jewish holidays: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/499393

Yoram Ettinger

Fighting The Battle Of The Bulge: The Yom Tov Edition

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

If you, like so many others (including me!), watch your weight in an attempt to keep those numbers on the scale heading in a downward direction, you know that this is a pretty tough time of year. Rosh Hashanah and its plethora of calorie-laden goodness may be behind us, and we do have a 25-hour mandated fast coming up this week, but with Sukkos just a few days later, it is hard to keep your weight from going up, up, up over the Yom Tov season.

But difficult doesn’t mean impossible. How to enjoy the yomim tovim without totally torpedoing your diet? To be honest, while the answer is painfully obvious (eat less), it is easier said than done when that sizzling hot potato kugel or those gooey brownies are plunked down in front of you. Like any other solider going to war, you need a battle plan in order to achieve success, and while I can’t promise you that planning ahead for those inevitable temptations will guarantee you won’t gain weight, it is definitely a step in the right direction.

Let me issue a disclaimer right here. I am not a nutritionist or a weight loss expert and I can’t guarantee that I will get through the yomim tovim at exactly the same weight I started at, but I am certainly going to try. Hopefully, sharing my thoughts in print with you guys, my thousands of nearest and dearest friends, will guilt me into sticking to my plan!

Challah: In a perfect world, I could give up meat, chicken, fish, eggs and cheese entirely and live on nothing but freshly-baked breads. Alas, our existence is imperfect and no matter how enticing warm challah may be, overdoing it is only going to lead to regrets. By all means, have a slice of challah with your meal and, if you are going to skip all the other carbs being served, have a second or maybe even a third. But if you are planning on eating a full meal, then stick to one slice and one slice only. Want to trick yourself into thinking you are eating more than you actually are? Cut that slice in half, chew slowly and do your best to pretend you are having two pieces instead of just one.

Dips: The truth is that I am not a mayonnaise eater, which right away prejudices me against dips, which I think are the handiwork of the devil. While the vegetable-based spreads can be fairly low in calories, and chumus is a protein powerhouse, most are nothing more than flavored oil or mayonnaise. Worse yet, most people aren’t just eating heaping spoonfuls of flavored mayonnaise – they are slathering it on, you guessed it, challah (see above), adding more unwanted calories to a meal that is likely to continue with at least two more courses.

Defeat da Fats: Growing up, my father would often refer to the chicken soup having “eyes,” little circles floating at the top of the soup. They are, of course, fat, and definitely something you don’t want to eat; thankfully, you don’t have to. Whether you are making chicken soup, stew, a roast or any meat or poultry-based item in a liquid or sauce, getting rid of those little greasy globs is pretty simple. Just pop the pot, pan or whatever into your fridge for a few hours and the fat will rise to the top, where you can hopefully pick it out with a fork. I have to admit it is a pretty icky process, but nowhere near as gross as ingesting all of that fat.

Late Night Bites: The yomim tovim bring with them quite a few night-time meals, particularly on Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah, when davening can end far later than normal. While every family has their own customs as far as Yom Tov fare, if you can get away with it, try to go lighter for those late-night meals. Do you really need gefilte fish, soup, chicken and potato kugel and chocolate mousse when you are eating at 10 p.m. and going to sleep right after you bentch? Over the years, we have narrowed the menu down for those nights to a light soup and maybe a single kugel and nothing else. Not only does nobody mind, but everyone is happy to skip a heavy meal. Depending on what your family enjoys, you can lighten things up by serving fish instead of meat or chicken, going totally dairy, serving sushi or anything else your family enjoys.

Lovin’ My Oven: When it comes to cutting calories, your oven can be your best friend. Oven-frying is a great way to cut down on the fat and the calories and not only does it go a lot faster than conventional frying but it doesn’t leave messy splatters all over your stovetop. Oven-roasting is also a great way to cook vegetables, with high temperatures, a dash of seasoning and a light drizzle of oil, bringing out the best flavor in your veggies. Investing in a large roasting pan is a worthwhile investment. Look for one that has low sides or no sides to ensure that your vegetables roast instead of steam and line the pan with foil to totally eliminate cleanup time.

Bowling for Greens: Think outside the kugel pan this Yom Tov with plenty of salads. A green salad with cubes of salmon, chicken, meat, cold cuts, cheese or chick peas is great as either an appetizer or a main dish for a lighter meal. Switch things up a little with different greens (romaine, arugula, spinach, cabbage or bok choy, to name a few), a variety of dressings (go easy on those, obviously) and whatever else appeals to you. Walk away from the table feeling sated, not stuffed and you may just find yourself going for meals in a bowl more often.

Dessert: What I should be telling you is to make sure to serve lots of cooked and fresh fruit so that you can finish off your meals with low-calorie treats. If that works for you, then it is absolutely a great idea, but to be perfectly honest, I am scheduling a few really small portions of something decadent in my Yom Tov menus. The rest of the time I am hoping to serve desserts that don’t tempt me and skip any extras like nuts, candy or chips that sometimes make their way to the table. Of course, all bets are off if any good quality chocolate is involved… there are only so many things you can ask a girl to give up without ruining her simchas Yom Tov, and chocolate is definitely not one of them!

Sandy Eller

Colorado Springs Synagogue to Relocate for Yom Kippur After Rosh Hashanah Fire

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

Chabad of Southern Colorado will hold its Yom Kippur services at the local Hotel Elegante in Colorado Springs, and are looking for alternative locations for their Sukkot and Simchat Torah, due to extensive fire damage to their synagogue.

Rabbi Moshe Liberow told KKTV that last Monday, just minutes before the congregation was to begin Rosh Hashanah services, they heard a loud bang and smelled smoke. While the congregation hastily made its way out of the building, Rabbi Liberow and a few of the congregants were able to get the Torah scrolls and prayer books out and took them to the rabbi’s home a few blocks away.

According to the KKTV report, the congregation may not be able to return to its building, as parts of the roof fell in and there’s extensive damage inside as well.

“Of course there’s been sadness, but sadness doesn’t bring growth, sadness doesn’t change things,” said Rabbi Liberow, stating: “We have to be optimistic, positive and, as our sages teach us, think good, be good, do good, increasing the goodness more and more.”

The Rabbi thanked the synagogue’s gentile neighbors for lending a hand in carrying damaged furniture and other articles out of the synagogue.


The Laws of Yom Kippur 5777

Friday, October 7th, 2016

Discussed in this article:

Preparing for Yom Kippur,
Erev Yom Kippur,
Halachot of the Fast,
Those who are exempt from fasting,
Yom Kippur,
End of the Fast

Preparing for Yom Kippur:
• It is a positive commandment from the Torah to do Teshuva to Hashem via confession (vidui) of the things we have done wrong and express regret. We should also take upon ourselves never to commit the sin again (דברים ל’, רמב”ם הל’ תשובה).
• For Mitzvot that are Ben Adam LeMakom, you have to confess to Hashem and not to detail your wrongdoings to other people (יומא פו:). For Mitzvot that are Ben Adam LeChavero, you must confess and apologize to the person you have wronged as well as confess and apologize to Hashem.
• If you have hurt your friend and your friend is unaware, for example, you spoke Lashon Hara about him, if the friend will not be hurt any further by knowing of the sin, you should apologize to him. If you think that your friend will be insulted and hurt by knowing about what you have done, do not ask for forgiveness (ממשמעות המג”א תר’ו, וכסברת ר’ ישראל סלנט).
• It is best to be stringent when it comes to Kashrut during Aseret Yemei Teshuva, for example, you should refrain from eating לחם של נכרי and חלב נכרי. This also goes for those who are more lenient about this on all other days of the year (ראבי”ה בשם ירושלמי שבת פ”ג).

Erev Yom Kippur:
• ‘Kapparot’ – Many of the big poskim have decided that it is best not to engage in the practice of Kapparot as there might be some suggestion of idolatry (רמב”ן ורשב”א בשו”ת ח”א שצה, וכן בשו”ע תרה). Although, it is our custom to do Kapparot on a chicken or on money. (It was Rashi’s custom to do Kapparot on a vegetable but we should not do it any differently from what we have customarily done. (רמ”א ומג”א תרה). One can use a credit card for Kapparot after making a donation with it, by circling it overhead as with money.
• Immersing in the Mikve (רא”ש יומא פ”ח כד בשם רס”ג) – We do not make a Bracha on the immersion (רא”ש שם, שלא כרס”ג).
• It is a positive commandment from the Torah to eat as much as you can on this day, especially delicacies (יומא פא, רא”ש שם, שו”ע תרד ומשנ”ב סק”א, ולא כרמב”ם). There are those who explain that the Torah is trying to make the fast easier for us with food (ב”ח תר”ד). And there are those who say that Torah is trying to make this day a little harder (ערוה”ש תר”ד).
• Mincha is davened early, before the Seudat Mafseket. During Mincha, Vidui is said during the Shmona Esrei, but not during Chazarat HaShatz. We do not say Avinu Malkeinu. (The Sephradim minhag is to say it)
• We light candles with a Bracha (…shel Yom HaKippurim) and we say Shehechiyanu, as it is written in the Machzor. In addition, you should light a yahrtzeit candle, so that Havdala is recited on a candle that has been lit all day.
• The father (and there are some whose custom it is also for the mother) bless the sons and daughters, as it is written in the Machzor. The children are supposed to kiss the parents’ hands following the Bracha (כתבי האר”י)
• Men should wrap themselves in their Tallit before sundown with a Bracha. There is a prevailing custom to wear a kittel so that we appear as the angels do and to remind us of the seriousness of this day (יום המיתה) and encourage us to do Teshuva.
• Tefillat Zaka is said before Kol Nidrei.

Halachot of the Fast:
• The fast starts at night (ויקרא כ”ג).
• On Yom Kippur, refrain from 5 things: eating and drinking, washing, anointing, wearing leather and marital relations between husband and wife (גמ’ יומא, פ”א ה”ד). According to the רא”ש they are all Rabbinical prohibitions, aside from eating and drinking, but according to the Rambam they are all prohibitions from the Torah.
• You are prohibited from doing any creative work (Melacha) on Yom Kippur (ויקרא כג)
• Women who have given birth, are pregnant, are weak or who have difficulty standing, are permitted to wash as they normally do – not for pleasure but for health and cleanliness reasons only (רמב”ם פ”ג ק”ב ערוה”ש תריג ס”ט).
• For those who have a hard time fasting, you are permitted to chew flavorless gum on Yom Kippur ((ממשמעות מג”א תקס’ז, וכה”ח החמיר שם אפילו בבליעת רוק .
• Avoid bathing and washing for pleasure (שו”ע תריג) but washing for cleanliness purposes is permitted (ראשונים, מג”א שם סק”א).
• Washing for cleanliness which is also pleasurable (for example, washing one’s dirty face with warm water) is prohibited (ממשמעות הרמ”א שם ס”ד).
• It is best not to put on deodorant on Yom Kippur. But, if it will disturb you or others greatly if you do not put on deodorant, you can use spray, but not a solid or cream deodorant.
• There are those who are stringent and say that it is best not to wear Crocs or Shoresh sandals because of their comfort level (ע”פ שער”ת תקנד סקי”א, ומשנ”ב שם סק”ה), however, according to the law, it is permissible and that is what the custom has become (ערוך השולחן שם ס”ה). • One should avoid touching one’s spouse at night, but it is permissible during the daytime. (ט”ז תרטו סק”א, ערוה”ש תרטו ס”א, ושלא כמג”א ומשנ”ב שהחמירו).
• If it is necessary, you can bathe your children on Yom Kippur, in tepid water. Take care not to use warm water. (ב”ח ומג”א תרטז סק”א ומשנ”ב שם).
• Kids who have not yet reached Bar or Bat Mitzvah age do not have to fast, but it is customary to have them fast a little for educational purposes (boys from the age of 12, and girls from the age of 11 are fasting) (ב”ח ומג”א ססק”ב).

Those who are exempt from fasting:
• A woman who is pregnant, no matter what stage of pregnancy she is in, who experiences severe headaches, is permitted to drink water in ‘shiurim’, and if that is not enough for her, she may drink a lot.
• A pregnant woman who experiences permanent contractions or whose water has broken, can drink without ‘shiurim’, even if she does not have a headache.
• A woman who has given birth 3 days prior to Yom Kippur, is prohibited from fasting (שו”ע תריז ס”ד)
• A woman who has given birth seven days prior to Yom Kippur, if she or her doctor feel she must eat, she is permitted to eat in ‘Shiurim’. If that is not enough, she is permitted to eat as she chooses. (שבת קכט. ושו”ע תריז ס”ד)
• A woman who is nursing who is worried that she will have less milk for the baby because of the fast, is permitted to drink in ‘Shiurim’ (תורת היולדת בשם חזו”א, עדות הגר”א נבנצל בשם הגרש”ז), There are poskim that say to be Machmir if the child is willing to drink formula (שו”ת אז נדברו ח”ט ט).
• A sick person who is in danger (חולה בסכנה) can eat and drink immediately, as well as someone whose classification of sick and in danger is doubted. This person does not have to go around searching for a Rav to ask whether or not he is permitted to eat. He should eat right away. (ויקרא יח, יומא פב, שו”ע תריח ס”ח)
• A sick person who is not in danger but feels that because of the fast, he might become in danger, is permitted to eat in ‘Shiurim’. (שו”ע תריח ס”א)
• Whoever eats and drinks in “Shiurim” should eat the volume of a matchbox every seven minutes (ערוה”ש תריח סי”ד), and should drink the amount of less than one cheek –full (שו”ע תריח ס”ז) on average a fifth of a disposable cup. It is preferable to eat foods that are sweet and healthy. In a case where eating /drinking in Shiurim every 7 minutes is not enough (שעת הדחק) one can do so every 4 minutes. If there is a need to drink more (drink only) one can drink in Shiurim in 1 minute intervals this is still better than drinking as usual. (כשיטת הרמב”ם שביה”ע פ”ב, וב”י תרי’ב- כרביעית הלוג)
• A sick person who is not in danger is permitted to take medication (pills) without water (אג”מ או”ח ח”ג צ”א).
• A sick person who is not in danger must fast normally. This includes people who experience regular headaches, general weakness, and other such symptoms. If in doubt, ask one of the doctors in the neighborhood.
• One who eats on Yom Kippur does not make Kiddush , but he should add Yaale VeYavo during benching (שו”ע תריח ס”י). One who eats on Yom Kippur is permitted to receive Aliyot LaTorah except for Maftir and Mincha (שו”ת רעק”א סכ”ד).

Yom Kippur
• In the morning, wash Negelvasser up to the knuckles (תו’ס יומא עז).
• Cohanim wash normally during Shacharit. If they have stayed clean, they do not have to wash hands again for Mussaf (ע”פ ערוה”ש תריג ס”ד בשם רמב”ם).
But, during Neila, Cohanim must wash their hands again as there was a break.
• We have been promised by Hashem that Yom Kippur atones for all those who have done Teshuva and that is why it is important to gather your strength and do Teshuva on Yom Kippur, even if it is difficult.
• One who feels that the fast is difficult for him and feels that he cannot continue to daven, should lie down and not break his fast, even if it means that he will not daven with a minyan or will not daven at all.
• A woman who sees that the fast is extremely difficult for her, her husband is exempt from davening with a Minyan and he must assist her so that she will lie down, fast, and not exert too much energy. The same goes for men who find it difficult to fast.

End of the Fast
• During Arvit following the fast, say “Ata Chonantanu”.
• Havdala is done on a candle that has been lit the entire holiday, with wine, without besamim (spices).
• Kiddush Levana should be said even though you haven’t yet eaten, as we are joyous that we have been atoned of our sins. אחרונים
• After the holiday is over, it is customary to do an action that is connected to constructing the Sukka, even if it is only a symbolic gesture (ערוה”ש, גר”א) and to eat with joy. (רמ”א תרכד ס”ה)
• Shacharit on the following day begins a few minutes earlier than usual. (משנ”ב תרכד סי”ד)

Rabbi Baruch Efrati

Short Subjects On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

Setting The Date

Rabi Pinchas and Rabi Chilkayahu said in the name of Rabi Shimon: “At this time of the year all the malachim gather before Hashem and ask Him, ‘Ribbono Shel Olam, when is Rosh Hashanah?’ Hashem replies, ‘Let us ask the earthly court and we will abide by their decision.’”

Rabi Hoshaya taught: If the earthly court decreed that today is Rosh Hashanah, Hashem commands the angels to call the heavenly court into session. He orders the prosecutor and the defendant to be ready to start trial. “For my children on earth have decreed that this day is Rosh Hashanah,” says Hashem.

If the earthly court has decided Rosh Hashanah should be postponed to the following day because of a leap year, then Hashem orders the heavenly court to postpone its sessions to the following day. Why? Because a “decree issued by Israel is considered as law by the God of Yaakov.”

Never Frighten The People

Chazal relate the following incident (Gemara Yoma): Once on Yom Kippur, the Kohen Gadol remained a long time in the Kodesh HaKedoshim praying fervently for the welfare of Bnei Yisrael.

The people became frightened thinking that something might have happened to him. His fellow priests asked him when he came out. “Why were you so long in the Kodesh HaKedoshim?”

“You should be glad,” he answered, “that I remained so long. I was davening that Bnei Yisrael should have a good year and the Beit HaMikdash should not be destroyed. Don’t you appreciate my efforts on your behalf?”

“While we appreciate your efforts on our behalf,” they replied, “we ask that you abide by the edict of Chazal who said that the Kohen Gadol should not take too long in the Kodesh HaKedoshim, because Bnei Yisrael might begin to worry that something might have happened to him. You must have consideration for their feelings.”

The Blowing Of The Shofar

Rabi Yitzchak said, “Why do we blow the shofar on Rosh Hashanah, once while standing and then again while seated? To confuse the Satan.”

Rabi Abuhu said, “Why do we blow shofar with the horn of a ram? Hashem announces: ‘Blow before me on the horn of a ram so that I may remember the sacrifice of Yitzchak, the son of Avraham, and I will consider it as if you performed their deed and it was you who were sacrificed.’”

Rabbi Sholom Klass

It’s My Opinion: Free Yom Kippur And Rosh Hashanah Tickets

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

The Greater Miami Jewish Federation, The Rabbinical Association of Greater Miami, and many participating synagogues in Florida have joined forces to make sure that every Jew can be accommodated with seats for the upcoming Jewish holidays. It is a very special project.

Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah are traditionally times that synagogues raise funds by charging for seats in their sanctuaries. However, this expense can be a very difficult challenge for those who barely manage financially from month to month. Unfortunately, these are times where living from paycheck to paycheck is not an unusual occurrence.

Families who have just dealt with back-to-school clothing and expenses find themselves tapped out. Seniors who live on social security or pensions often do not have a dollar to spare. Just putting food on the table and a roof overhead is a daunting task for many of our brothers and sisters.

For some unaffiliated Jews, attendance at a synagogue on the “high holidays” is the last vestige of clinging to their faith. It should not be taken away.

Kol Yisrael arevim zeh ba-zeh – All Israel is responsible for one another. If you or someone you know can use this help go online at Jewish.Miami.org/highholidays, which includes a link to the list of participating synagogues, or phone 305-371-7328.

To accommodate everyone and to ensure security, advance registration is required.

See you in shul!

Shelley Benveniste

A Musical Tribute to Yom Yerushalayim

Monday, June 6th, 2016

A musical tribute to Yom Yerushalayim from a Jerusalem troubador, David Herman.

David Herman

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/guest-blog/a-musical-tribute-to-yom-yerushalayim/2016/06/06/

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