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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 Kaddish recitals by mourners.)


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 Bimahnext 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.

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 7:45 p.m.) some wait 60 minutes  (N.Y.C. time: 8:00 p.m. E.D.T.) while others wait 72 minutes (N.Y.C. time: 8:12 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 (R. 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).


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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.