Photo Credit: Jewish Press

New York City
September 27, 2019– 27 Elul 5779
6:27 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Sabbath Ends: 7:24 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Sabbath Ends: Rabbenu Tam 7:56 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Weekly Reading: Nitzavim
Weekly Haftara: Sos Assis (Isaiah 61:10-63:9)

Daf Yomi: Me’ilah 10
Mishna Yomit: Avos 5:8-9
Halacha Yomit: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 575:12- 576:1
Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Shevisas Yom Tov chap.7 – Hilchos Chametz U’Matzah chap.1
Earliest Tallis and Tefillin: 5:58 a.. NYC E.D.T.
Sunrise: 6:48 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Latest Kerias Shema: 9:47 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Sunset: 6:45 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Pirkei Avos: 5-6



Shabbos: All tefillos as customary, including Av HaRachamim, Tzidkos’cha, however at Maariv, Motza’ei Shabbos we do not say Vi’yehi Noam v’Atah Kadosh.

Sunday, Erev Rosh Hashana, we arise early to say the special additional Selichos found in the printed Selichos. Shacharis as usual – except that we omit 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 of 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: 45 p.m. E.D.T.)

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

Sunday evening, when we light the candles (6:23 p.m. N.Y.C. E.D.T.) we recite the blessings “… Lehadlik Ner Shel Yom Tov” and Shehecheyanu …” Mincha (as usual, no textual alterations as we find 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. We substitute HaMelech Hakadosh for Hak-el Hakadosh during these ten days. If one forgot and said Hak‑el Hakadosh in place 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’che’sov lechayyim. In Sim shalom, right before the beracha 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 (concluding Hashkivenu with U’feros . . . Ve’al Yerushalayim, as usual), we add Tik’u bachodesh shofar bakeseh le’yom chagenu. The chazzan then recites Kaddish and adds Le’eila [u]le’eila mikol birchasa in substitution of Le’eila min kol birchasa (some congregations do not make this alteration).

The Shemoneh Esreh is the Rosh Hashana text as found in the Machzor. Following the Shemoneh Esreh, Sefarad add LeDavid Mizmor L’Hashem and the chazzan concludes with Kaddish Tiskabbel – we conclude all Kaddish recitals with Oseh hashalom. Some congregations recite kiddush in the synagogue . We conclude with Mekaddesh Yisrael veyom hazikaron, Shehecheyanu, then Aleinu, LeDavid Hashem Ori (Sefarad have said it at Mincha), the respective Kaddish recitals by mourners and Adon Olam [some add or only say Yigdal}.

As we leave the synagogue all greet each other with Le’shana Tova Tikasevu . . .

At home, Kiddush (the text for Rosh Hashana). We wash for the meal. We recite 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 from the apple and then recite Yehi Ratzon . . . Shetechaddesh Aleinu Shana Tova U’mesuka. We also have various Simanei Milsa at the seuda – special foods that symbolize good omens – each with its own beracha. These are found in the Machzor.

Monday morning: The chazzan dons a kittel – in some congregations all congregants don a kittel as well. We then recite the usual tefillos in the Machzor, Korbanos, Kaddish D’Rabbanan. Pesukei DeZimra are said slower 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 Shema, Hame’ir la’aretz etc., we say the Rosh Hashana Shemoneh Esreh. Following the silent Shemoneh Esreh, the chazzan repeats it with Piyyutim, as found in the Machzor. We then say Avinu Malkenu. The chazzan recites Kaddish Shalem.

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

We remove two Sifrei Torah from the Ark and chazzan and congregation recite Va’yehi binso’a, 13 Middos, Ribbono Shel Olam, Shema Yisrael etc. We call five Aliyos and we read in the Torah from Parashas Vayera (Bereishis 21:1-34). We place the second Sefer Torah on the Bimah next to the first Sefer and say half Kaddish.

The Maftir reads from the second Sefer Torah in Parashas Pinchas (Bamidbar 29:1-6). The Maftir reads the Haftara, Va’yehi Ish Echad (I Samuel 1:1-28, 2:1-10). We conclude Birkas haHaftara with Mekaddesh Yisrael Ve’yom Hazikaron.

Tekias Shofar: We now 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. As a preparation the congregation says La’menatze’ach Livnei Korach Mizmor 7 times, followed by Min hameitzar and Koli shamata, an acrostic of Kra Satan (lit. tear up Satan, destroy the prosecuting angel).

The Ba’al Tekiah then recites the blessing Lishmo’a Kol Shofar and Shehecheyanu (he bears in mind the intention to fullfill the requirement to bless for all the congregants). He then sounds the following blasts: Tekiah, Shevarim‑ Teruah, Tekiah – 3 times, Tekiah, Shevarim, Tekiah – 3 times, and Tekiah, Teruah, Tekiah – 3 times, for a total of 30 blasts. We do not interrupt with any conversation during the shofar blasts. We then all recite Ashrei Ha’am Yod’ei Teruah 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 additional 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 and blow 30 blasts in the order Tashrat, Tashat, Tarat. The congregation recite 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 Bechorim, the firstborn), wash the hands of the Kohanim in preparation of their ascending to 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 following Shacharis do so now, each followed by its respective Kaddish.)

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

Many congregations conclude the service with the chanting of Adon Olam. Following the Seudas Yom Tov we return to the synagogue for Mincha (no reading of the Torah). The Shemoneh Esreh (text in the Machzor) is followed by Avinu Malkenu, Kaddish Tiskabbel, Aleinu and Kaddish Yasom (Mourner’s Kaddish).

It is customary on Rosh Hashana to go near – or at least in sight of – a river, stream or pond and recite the Tashlich prayer. It is also customary to say additional prayers for parnasa and health as found in the Machzor. [This Tefillah may be said during the week if necessary.]

Monday evening, the 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 7:20 p.m.) some wait 60 minutes (N.Y.C. time: 7:35 p.m. E.D.T.) while others wait 72 minutes (N.Y.C. time: 7:47 p.m. E.D.T.) before we light candles and then we commence all preparations. When lighting candles we recite Lehadlik Ner Shel Yom Tov, and Shehecheyanu (Rabbi Henkin rules that it is better to prepare a new fruit to eat at the seuda, and for the woman of the house to light as close to Kiddush as possible, thus eating the new fruit close to her lighting and reciting the Shehecheyanu).

Maariv: The text as found in the Machzor, Birkas Kerias Shema (concluding Hashkivenu with U’feros … Ve’al Yerushalayim). We add Tik’u bachodesh shofar bakeseh le’yom chagenu. At the conclusion of the Shemoneh Esreh the chazzan recites Kaddish Tiskabbel (Nusach Sefarad say LeDavid Mizmor). Where such is the custom, Kiddush is recited by the chazzan (Rosh Hashana text as 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.

Tuesday morning: Shacharis is generally the same as the day before, with certain variant texts for Piyyutim and Yotzros as found in our Machzor. Avinu Malkenu at the conclusion of the repetition of the Shemoneh Esreh. There are various customs: most Sefarad congregations and some Ashkenaz say the Shir Shel Yom and LeDavid at this point, followed by the respective mourner’s Kaddish recitals.

We call up five people to the Torah and we read in Parashas Vayera (Bereishis 22:1-24), following which the Ba’al Keriah recites half Kaddish. For Maftir we read in Parashas Pinchas like yesterday (Bamidbar 29:1-6). The Maftir reads the Haftara, Matza chen bamidbar (Jeremiah 31:1-19). In the blessing for the Haftara, as we did yesterday, we add Yom Hazikaron Hazeh, and conclude with Mekaddesh Yisrael VeYom Hazikaron.

Tekiyas Shofar, Musaf, Mincha, see 1st day Yom Tov. Note: Some of Piyutim in Musaf for 2nd day are different.

Motza’ei Yom Tov: Maariv is the usual weekday tefilla. We say Ata Chonantanu and add the Aseres Yemei Teshuva – Days of Awe – textual changes (i.e., HaMelech Hakadosh, etc.). (Yom Tov concludes in N.Y.C. at 7:18 p.m. E.D.T.)

For the havdala we use neither a candle nor besamim (spices). We use only wine and begin with the blessing of Borei Pri Hagafen and conclude with the blessing of Hamavdil.

Wednesday is Tzom Gedalia – a public fast (starting at 5:41 a.m. N.Y.C. E.D.T.) instituted by our sages due to the assassination of Gedalia ben Achikam, the Judean governor of Eretz Yisrael appointed by the Babylonians, and its significance for our subsequent dispersal in the diaspora.

We rise early for Selichos as on all the Days of Awe. At Shacharis we add all the textual changes as found in our Siddurim and add Anenu in the Reader’s repetition. We conclude the repetition with Avinu Malkenu, Tachanun and half Kaddish.

We remove a Torah scroll from the Ark and call three Aliyos. We read from Parashas Ki Tissa (Shemos 32:11-14, 34:1-10), Va’yechal Moshe, the standard Torah reading for all public fast days, and we conclude as usual.

Mincha: we all recite Ashrei, the chazzan says half Kaddish – we take a Sefer Torah from the Ark and call three Aliyos and again read, as in the morning, from Parashas Ki Tissa, Va’yechal Moshe – the third Aliyah also serves as the Maftir who reads from Isaiah 55:6-56:8, Dirshu Hashem, the usual Haftara for fast days. We conclude with the blessings of the Haftara. We return the Torah to the Ark and all say the silent Shemoneh Esreh with all textual inclusions, and Anenu in Shema Kolenu.

In Reader’s repetition, Anenu is said between Go’el Yisrael and Rophe Cholei Amo Yisrael. Avinu Malkeinu and we conclude as usual.

Maariv is usual weekday tefilla with inclusion of all textual changes, HaMelech Hakadosh, etc.

Fast ends 7:18 p.m. N.Y.C. E.D.T. [Rabbi Moshe Feinstein], or as early as 7:07 p.m. N.Y.C. E.D.T. [Rabbi Tukaccinsky].

During the week between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur we perform the kapparos (atonement) ritual by making a substitute offering to Hashem. This is customarily done with a live chicken, but a live fish may also be used, and one can even give money for charity. The text of the accompanying prayer is found in the Yom Kippur Machzor.

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


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Rabbi Yaakov Klass is Rav of K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush; Torah Editor of The Jewish Press; and Presidium Chairman, Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim.