Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Vol. LXVII No. 37                                   5777
New York City
September 15, 2017 – 24 Elul 5777
6:46 p.m. NYC E.D.T.



Sabbath Ends: 7:44 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Sabbath Ends: Rabbenu Tam 8:15 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Weekly Reading: Nitzavim-Vayelech
Weekly Haftara: Sos Assis (Isaiah 61:10-63:9)
Daf Yomi: Sanhedrin 61
Mishna Yomit: Yoma 5:6-7
Halacha Yomit: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 224: 4-6
Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Parah Eidus chap. 20-22
Earliest time for Tallis and Tefillin: 5:46 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Sunrise: 6:36 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Latest Kerias Shema: 9:43 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Sunset: 7:04 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Pirkei Avos: 5-6


This Motza’ei Shabbos: Following Maariv, due to the upcoming Yom Tov, we do not say Vi’yehi Noam ve’Atah Kadosh. We start saying Selichos, preferably after chatzos halaila (12:50 a.m. E.D.T., N.Y.C.). Thereafter we arise early in the morning to say the specific Selichos for each day as found in our Selichos texts.

(The Sefardic and Oriental communities began saying Selichos at the start of Elul). Rosh Hashana is this coming Thursday and Friday.

Wednesday, Erev Rosh Hashana, we arise early to say the special additional Selichos found in the Machzor. Shacharis as usual – except for omitting 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’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. 12:48 p.m. E.D.T.)

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

Since Shabbos immediately follows the 2 days of Yom Tov, we prepare an Eruv Tavshilin (2 cooked foods – usually an egg and a challah or matza) which we put aside to be eaten on Shabbos. This allows us to cook and bake foods on the second day Yom Tov for Shabbos.

Wednesday evening: when we light the candles (N.Y.C. 6:37 p.m. E.D.T.) we recite the blessings of “… Lehadlik ner shel Yom Tov …” and Shehecheyanu.

Erev Yom Tov Mincha (as usual, no textual alterations as 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 Av HaRachamim. We substitute HaMelech Hakadosh for HaKel Hakadosh during these ten days. If one forgot and said HaKel Hakadosh instead 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’chesov LeChayyim. In Sim Shalom, right before the Beracha we add 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 – standard text for Yom Tov (concluding Hashkivenu with U’feros… Ve’al Yerushalayim, as usual), and we add Tik’u bachodesh shofar ba’keseh leyom chagenu. The chazzan then recites Kaddish and adds Le’eila [u’]le’eila mikol birchasa instead of Le’eila min kol birchasa (some congregations do not follow this alteration).

Shemoneh Esreh is the Rosh Hashana text as found in the Machzor. Following the Shemoneh Esreh, Sefarad add LeDavid Mizmor and the chazzan concludes with Kaddish Tiskabbel – we conclude all Kaddish recitals with Oseh Hashalom. Some congregations recite Kiddush in the synagogue – the text is that of Yom Tov (Rosh Hashana). We conclude with Mekaddesh Yisrael VeYom HaZikaron and Shehecheyanu, then Aleinu, LeDavid Hashem Ori, the respective Kaddish recitals (mourners) and Adon Olam.

As we leave the synagogue all greet each other with Leshana tova tikasevu . . .

At home, we recite the Kiddush (for Rosh Hashana). We wash for the meal. We bless 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 the apple and then recite Yehi Ratzon … shetechaddesh alenu shana tova u’mesuka. We also partake of various special foods that symbolize good omens (Simanei Milsa) – each with its own beracha. These are found in the Machzor.

Thursday morning: The chazzan dons a kittel – in some congregations all congregants don a kittel as well. We recite the usual tefillos in the Machzor – Korbanos, Kaddish Tiskabbel. Pesukei DeZimra is said slowly 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.

Barechu, followed by Birkas Kerias ShemaShemoneh Esreh as the night before. Following the silent Shemoneh Esreh, the chazzan repeats the Shemoneh Esreh with Piyyutim as found in the Machzor. We say Avinu Malkenu. The chazzan recites Kaddish Shalem (full Kaddish).

(Nusach Sefarad now recite the Shir Shel Yom and LeDavid Hashem Ori, followed by their respective mourner’s Kaddish recitals.)

We remove two Sifrei Torah from the Ark and chazzan and congregation recite VaYehi Binso’a – 13 Middos, Ribbono Shel Olam, Shema Yisrael etc. We call 5 aliyos and we read from Parashas Vayera (Bereishis 21:1-34). We place the second Sefer Torah on the bimah next to the first scroll and say half-Kaddish.

The Maftir reads from the second Sefer Torah in Parashas Pinchas (Bamidbar 29:1-6). The Maftir reads the Haftara, VaYehi ish echad (I Samuel 1:28-2:10). We conclude the Birkas HaHaftara with Mekaddesh Yisrael VeYom HaZikaron.

Tekias Shofar: We prepare ourselves for the sounding of the shofar. It is customary to appoint a makri, a scholarly individual who calls out the tekios for the ba’al tekiah. In preparation, the congregation recites La’menatze’ach Livnei Korach Mizmor 7 times – followed by Min Hameitzar and Koli Shamata – an accrostic of Kra Satan (lit. tear Satan, destroy the prosecuting angel).

The ba’al tekiah recites the blessings of Lishmo’a kol shofar and Shehecheyanu (he bears in mind the intention to fulfill the requirement for all the congregants) those present are careful to respond amen. He then sounds the following blasts: Tekia, Shevarim-Teruah, Tekiah – three times; Tekiah, Shevarim, Tekiah – three times; and Tekiah, Teruah, Tekiah – three times, for a total of 30 blasts. We do not interrupt with any conversation during the shofar blasts. We all recite Ashrei ha’am yod’ei [t]eruah followed by Ashrei, LeDavid Mizmor etc. We return the Sifrei Torah to the Ark.

Musaf: The chazzan recites the prayer Hineni, followed by half-Kaddish. Chazzan and congregation say the silent Shemoneh Esreh as found in the Machzor (Nusach Sefarad, at the appropriate breaks in the silent Shemoneh Esreh – at Malchuyos, Zichronos and Shofaros – blow a total of 30 more blasts). Ashkenaz do not blow the shofar during the silent Shemoneh Esreh.

The chazzan repeats the Shemoneh Esreh, and we interrupt at Malchuyos, Zichronos and Shofaros to blow 30 additional blasts in the same order (Tashrat, Tashat, Tarat). The congregation recites Hayom haras olam and in Areshes we conclude with the proper textual variant for each – Malchuyosenu the first time, Zichronoseinu the second time, and Shofroseinu the third time.

The Levi’im (or, in their absence, the firstborn) wash the hands of the Kohanim in preparation of their ascending the Duchan. At the conclusion of the Shemoneh Esreh repetition the chazzan recites Kaddish Tiskabbel. In the middle, before the words Tiskabbel… are uttered, the ba’al tekiah blows 10 blasts of the shofar.

We conclude the tefilla with Ein Ke’Elokeinu and Aleinu and their respective Kaddish recitals (congregations that did not say the Shir Shel Yom and LeDavid Hashem Ori after Shacharis do so now, each followed by its respective Kaddish.)

                        We conclude with 30 final blasts of the shofar (according to Minhag Ashkenaz. Minhag Sefarad need not blow any additional blasts as they blew 30 during the silent Shemoneh Esreh) to complete the full count of 100 blasts of the shofar.

Many congregations conclude the service with the chanting of Adon Olam.

The text for the Kiddush at the Seuda is Tik’u bachodesh shofar…, followed by Borei pri hagafen. One does not sleep on the day the Books of Judgment are open, but we study Torah and Tehillim.

We return to the synagogue for Mincha. No reading of the Torah. The text of the Shemoneh Esreh is found in the Machzor, followed by Avinu Malkenu, Kaddish Tiskabbel, Aleinu and Kaddish Yasom (Mourner’s Kaddish).

It is customary on Rosh Hashana to go near – or in sight of – a river, stream or pond and recite the Tashlich prayer. It is also customary to say additional prayers for parnassa and health, as found in the Machzor.

Thursday evening, second night of Rosh Hashana: Since we are not allowed to make any preparations from one day of Yom Tov to the other, we wait 45 minutes after Shekia (N.Y.C. E.D.T. time 7:39 p.m.), or 60 minutes (N.Y.C. E.D.T. time 7:54 p.m.), or 72 minutes (N.Y.C. E.D.T. time 8:06 p.m.) before we light candles, and then we start all preparations. When lighting candles – from an existing flame – we recite Lehadlik ner shel Yom Tov, and Shehecheyanu (Rav Henkin rules that it is advisable to prepare a new fruit to be eaten at the Seuda and that the woman of the house light candles as close to Kiddush as possible – thus eating the new fruit close to her lighting and reciting the Shehecheyanu).

Maariv: the text of the Shemoneh Esreh is as found in the Machzor. At the conclusion of the Shemoneh Esreh, Kaddish Tiskabbel (Nusach Sefarad say LeDavid Mizmor). Where such is the custom, Kiddush is recited by the chazzan, text as found in the Machzor, Aleinu, and LeDavid Hashem Ori and respective Kaddish recitals for mourners.

Kiddush at home is the same as in the synagogue and, as mentioned previously, we place a new fruit on the table for the blessing of Shehecheyanu (if one dons a new garment, it is just as well), which is recited regardless of the availability of these new items.

Friday morning – 2nd day of Yom Tov – see next week’s Luach.

The following chapters of Tehillim are being recited by many congregations and Yeshivos for our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael: Chapters 83, 130, 142. – Y.K.