Photo Credit: Jewish Press

New York City
September 15, 2023 – 29 Elul 5783
6:47 p.m. N.Y.C. E.D.T.



Sabbath Ends: 7:45 p.m. N.Y.C. E.D.T.
Sabbath Ends: 8:16 p.m. N.Y.C. E.D.T.
Weekly Reading: Rosh Hashanah
Weekly Haftara: Rosh Hashanah
Daf Yomi: Kidushin 33
Mishna Yomit: Megilah 1:3-4
Halacha Yomit: Shulchan Aruch,Orach Chayyim 497:15-17
Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Shemitah v’Yovel Chap. 9-11
Earliest time for Tallis and Tefillin: 5:46 a.m. N.Y.C. E.D.T.
Sunrise: 6:36 a.m. N.Y.C. E.D.T.
Latest Kerias Shema: 9:43 a.m. N.Y.C. E.D.T.
Plag Hamincha: 5:47 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Sunset: 7:05 a.m. N.Y.C. E.D.T.


On Erev Rosh Hashanah 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 Hashanah, 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 a person from 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. 12:50 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 Hashanah, when all of mankind are judged.

Friday eve: when we light the candles we recite the blessings “… Lehadlik ner shel Shabbos VeShel Yom Tov” and Shehecheyanu.

Erev Shabbos Mincha – as usual, no textual alterations as we do in the subsequent prayers due to Aseres Yemei Teshuva. Kabbalas Shabbos: Nusach Sefarad recite usual standard text – Ashkenaz recite only Mizmor Shir LeYom HaShabbos followed by mourner’s Kaddish.

For the entire Aseres Yemei Teshuva period we add the following in the Shemoneh Esreh: Zochrenu LeChayyim, Mi Chamocha Av Harachamim. We substitute HaMelech Hakadosh for HaK-el Hakadosh during these ten days. If one forgot and said HaK-el 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 Tzedakah Umishpat.) Before Vechol Hachayyim we add U’chesov Lechayyim. In Sim Shalom, right before the beracha Besefer Chayyim… Ashkenaz generally conclude the beracha with Oseh Hashalom while Sefarad conclude with Ha’mevarech Es Amo Yisrael Bashalom, as usual.

Maariv: Birkas Kerias Shema – standard text for Shabbos (concluding Hashkivenu with U’feros… Ve’al Yerushalayim, as usual), Ve’shamru, and we add Tik’u bachodesh shofar bakeseh le’yom 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 make this alteration).

Shemoneh Esreh is the Rosh Hashanah text as found in the Machzor, with mention of Shabbos. Following the Shemoneh Esreh, the chazzan and congregation recite Va’yechulu and Magen Avos (we substitute in this prayer HaMelech Hakadosh for the standard text of HaK-el Hakadosh). The conclusion of the beracha, Mekaddesh HaShabbos, is not altered. Sefarad add LeDavid Mizmor and the chazzan concludes with Kaddish Tiskabbel – we conclude all Kaddish recitals with Oseh Ha shalom … some congregations recite Kiddush in the synagogue – the text is that of Yom Tov and Shabbos, beginning with Va’yechulu – with the appropriate additions for Rosh Hashanah. We conclude with … Mekaddesh HaShabbos VeYisrael Veyom Hazikaron, Shehecheyanu, then Aleinu, LeDavid Hashem Ori, and the respective Kaddish recitals (for mourners) and Adon Olam.

As we leave the synagogue all greet each other with Leshana Tova Tikasevu

At home, Kiddush for Shabbos and Rosh Hashanah. 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 of 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.

Shabbos morning: The chazzan dons a kittel – in some congregations all congregants don a kittel as well. We recite the usual tefillos in the MachzorKorbanos, 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 Shema – we say Hakol Yoducha, Kel Adon, and LeKel asher shavat.

We recite the Shacharis Shemoneh Esreh of Rosh Hashanah with mention of Shabbos. Following the silent Shemoneh Esreh the chazzan repeats the Shemoneh Esreh with Piyyutim, as found in the Machzor. (Since it is Shabbos we do not say Avinu Malkenu). The chazzan recites Kaddish Shalem (full).

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

We remove two Sifrei Torah from the Ark and chazzan and congregation recite Vayehi binso’ano 13 Middos or Ribbono Shel Olam, as it is Shabbos – Shema Yisrael, etc. We call 7 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 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 1:1-28-2:1-10). We conclude the Birkos HaHaftara with Mekaddesh HaShabbos VeYom Hazikaron. (We do not blow the shofar since it is Shabbos). Yekum Purkan is then said, followed by Ashrei, Mizmor LeDavid. We return the Torah scrolls to the Ark.

The chazzan recites the prayer Hinani, followed by half-Kaddish and the silent Shemoneh Esreh of Musaf, as found in the Machzor – with mention of Shabbos.

In the repetition the chazzan does says Hayom Haras Olam but we do not blow the shofar or say Areshes Sefaseinu. The Kohanim go up to duchan after their hands are washed by the Levi’im. At the conclusion the chazzan recites Kaddish Tiskabbel, Ein K’Elokeinu, Aleinu, Shir Shel Yom and LeDavid Hashem Ori and their respective Kaddish recitals. The Kiddush at the Seuda includes Zachor, Ve’shamru etc. and Tik’u Bachodesh Shofar etc., then Borei Pri Hagafen. We do not sleep on the day the Books of Judgment are open, but we learn Torah and say Tehillim. (We do not go to Tashlich since it is Shabbos).

Mincha: Ashrei, U’va LeTziyyon, half- Kaddish. We remove a Torah scroll from the Ark and call three Aliyos who read from Parashas Ha’azinu (Devarim 32:1-12). We return the Sefer Torah to the Ark. Chazzan then recites half-Kaddish and all say the Shemoneh Esreh of Rosh Hashanah with mention of Shabbos. In the repetition the chazzan includes all references to Shabbos as well. He concludes with Kaddish Tiskabbel (Avinu Malkenu or Tzidkas’cha are not said since it is Shabbos.)

Motza’ei Shabbos, the second night of Rosh Hashanah: since we are not allowed to make any preparations from Shabbos to Yom Tov, we wait until 7:45 p.m. N.Y.C. E.D.T. (according to Piskei HaGaon R. Henkin, zt”l, 72 minutes after Shekia – 8:16 p.m. E.D.T. or at the very least 60 minutes – N.Y.C. time: 8:01 p.m. E.D.T.) before we light candles, and then we can commence all preparations. Women should say Hamavdil bein kodesh lekodesh before starting the preparations and lighting candles, over which we recite Lehadlik ner shel Yom Tov and Shehecheyanu. R. Henkin rules that it is better to prepare a new fruit to be eaten at the Seuda and for the woman of the house to light candles as close to Kiddush as possible, thus eating the new fruit close to lighting the candles (and reciting Shehecheyanu).

Maariv: The Shemoneh Esreh text as found in the Machzor. We add Vatodi’enu (as this evening is Motza’ei Shabbos). 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. The text is that of Rosh Hashanah with the addition of Havdala since this evening is Motza’ei Shabbos, Aleinu, LeDavid Hashem Ori (Nusach Sefarad recited it following Mincha) 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.

Sunday morning: Shacharis is generally the same as the day before with certain variant texts for Piyyutim and Yotzros, as found in our Machzor. Since it is Sunday, a weekday, we omit all references to Shabbos, and we do say 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 Mizmor at this point, followed by the respective mourner’s Kaddish recitals.

As we remove two Sifrei Torah from the Ark, we recite Ein Kamocha (Sefarad add Ata Horeisa), the 13 Middos and the prayer Ribbono Shel Olam, Berich Shemeih, Shema Yisrael and Echad Hu Elokeinu (we add Kadosh Ve’Nora Shemo).

We call up five aliyos to the Torah and we read in Parashas Vayera (Bereishis 22), following which the Baal Keriah recites half-Kaddish. For Maftir we read again in Parashas Pinchas (Bamidbar 29:1-6). The Maftir reads the Haftara, Matza chen bamidbar (Jeremiah 31). In the blessings for the Haftara, as we did yesterday, we add Yom Hazikaron Hazeh, but conclude with Mekaddesh Yisrael VeYom 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 Baal Tekiah. As a preparation the congregation says La’menatze’ach Livnei Korach Mizmor 7 times, followed by Min Hameitzar and Koli shama’ta, an accrostic of Kera Satan (lit. tear Satan), destroy the prosecuting angel.

The Baal Tekia recites the blessings 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: Tekia, Shevarim Teruah, Tekia – 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 [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 and blow 30 more blasts in the same order (Tashrat, Tashat, Tarat). The congregation recites Hayom Haras Olam and in Areshes Sefaseinu we conclude with the proper textual variant for each: Malchuyoseinu 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 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 Baal Tekiah blows 10 more 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. (Minhag Sefarad, however, need not blow any additional blasts as they blew those 30 blasts 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. Following the Seudas Yom Tov we return to the synagogue for Mincha – no reading of the Torah – the text as found in the Machzor, followed by Avinu Malkenu, Kaddish Tiskabbel, Aleinu and Kaddish Yasom (Mourner’s Kaddish, nusach Sefard recite L’Dovid Hashem Ori).

It is customary on Rosh Hashanah to go near – or in sight of – a river, stream or pond and recite the Tashlich prayer. We do so this year on the second day of Yom Tov due to the fact that the first day fell on Shabbos. It is also customary to say additional prayers for parnasa and health, as found in the Machzor.

Motza’ei Yom Tov: Maariv is the usual weekday Maariv. However, we add the textual changes for Aseres Yemei Teshuva, the Days of Awe (i.e., HaMelech Hakadosh, etc.) as well as Ata Chonantanu, Kaddish Tiskabbel, Aleinu, L’Dovid Hashem Ori, and their Kaddish recitals. Yom Tov concludes 7:45 p.m. N.Y.C. E.D.T.

For Havdala we take neither candle nor besamim (spices). We use only wine, beginning with the blessing Borei Pri Hagafen and concluding with the blessing of Hamavdil.

Monday is Tzom Gedaliah – a public fast instituted by our Sages following the assassination of Gedaliah ben Achikam, the Judean governor of Eretz Yisrael appointed by the Babylonians, and its significance for our subsequent dispersal in the diaspora. Fast begins at 5:27 a.m. N.Y.C. E.D.T.

We rise early for Selichos as on all the Days of Awe. At Shacharis we incorporate all the textual changes as found in our Siddurim and add Anenu as well 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, chazzan says half-Kaddish – we take out a Torah scroll from the Ark and call three aliyos and read again, 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 as usual with the blessings of the Haftara.

We return the Torah to the Ark and all say the silent Shemoneh Esreh with all textual changes and Anenu in Shema Kolenu.

In Reader’s repetition, Anenu is said between Go’el and Rophei cholei amo Yisrael. We conclude as usual.

Maariv is usual weekday Tefilla with inclusion of all textual changes – HaMelech Hakadosh etc.

Fast ends no earlier than 7:30 p.m. N.Y.C. E.D.T. Rav Tukaccinsky; However, according to Rav Moshe Feinstein fast ends 7:41 p.m. NYC E.D.T.; if one has difficulty fasting they may conclude earlier at 7:34 p.m. N.Y.C. E.D.T.

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.

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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.