Rosh Hashanah starts tonight-All you need to know and A license to eat and Quotes to ponder and It's not about me Why don't we ask forgiveness for our personal sins on Rosh Hashana if it is the Day of Judgment? and Spirit Grow simulated Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kipper Services and NY Rabbi says if 99% of Doctors say take the shot that is the Halacha for Rosh Hashana
Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement.
Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew: רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה), literally meaning "head [of] the year", is the Jewish New Year. The biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah (יוֹם תְּרוּעָה), literally "day of shouting or blasting", and is also more commonly known in English as the Feast of Trumpets. It is the first of the Jewish High Holy Days (יָמִים נוֹרָאִים Yamim Nora'im. "Days of Awe") specified by Leviticus 23:23–32 that occur in the early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere.
Rosh Hashanah is a two-day celebration that begins on the first day of Tishrei, which is the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year. In contrast to the ecclesiastical lunar new year on the first day of the first month Nisan, the spring Passover month which marks Israel's exodus from Egypt, Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the civil year, according to the teachings of Judaism, and is the traditional anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman according to the Hebrew Bible, and the inauguration of humanity's role in God's world.
Rosh Hashanah customs include sounding the shofar (a cleaned-out ram's horn), as prescribed in the Torah, following the prescription of the Hebrew Bible to "raise a noise" on Yom Teruah. Its rabbinical customs include attending synagogue services and reciting special liturgy about teshuva, as well as enjoying festive meals. Eating symbolic foods is now a tradition, such as apples dipped in honey, hoping to evoke a sweet new year.
"Rosh" is the Hebrew word for "head", "ha" is the definite article ("the"), and "shanah" means year. Thus "Rosh HaShanah" means 'head [of] the year', referring to the Jewish day of new year.
The term "Rosh Hashanah" in its current meaning does not appear in the Torah. Leviticus 23:24 refers to the festival of the first day of the seventh month as zikhron teru'ah ("a memorial of blowing [of horns]"); it is also referred to in the same part of Leviticus as 'שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן' (shabbat shabbaton) or ultimate Sabbath or meditative rest day, and a "holy day to God". These same words are commonly used in the Psalms to refer to the anointed days. Numbers 29:1 calls the festival yom teru'ah ("day of blowing [the horn]"). The term rosh hashanah appears once in the Bible (Ezekiel 40:1), where it has a different meaning: either generally the time of the "beginning of the year", or possibly a reference to Yom Kippur,or to the month of Nisan.
In the Jewish prayer-books (i.e., the Siddur and Machzor), Rosh Hashanah is also called Yom Hazikaron (the day of remembrance) not to be confused with the modern Israeli remembrance day of the same name.
Rosh Hashanah marks the start of a new year in the Hebrew calendar (one of four "new year" observances that define various legal "years" for different purposes as explained in the Mishnah and Talmud). It is the new year for people, animals, and legal contracts. The Mishnah also sets this day aside as the new year for calculating calendar years, shmita and yovel years. Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of Man.
The origin of the Hebrew New Year is connected to the beginning of the economic year in the agricultural societies of the ancient Near East. The New Year was the beginning of the cycle of sowing, growth, and harvest; the harvest was marked by its own set of major agricultural festivals.The Semites generally set the beginning of the new year in autumn, while other ancient civilizations chose spring for that purpose, such as the Persians or Greeks; the primary reason was agricultural in both cases, the time of sowing the seed and bringing in the harvest.
In Jewish law, four major New Years are observed, each one marking a beginning of sorts. The lunar month Nisan (usually corresponding to the months March–April in the Gregorian calendar) is when a new year is added to the reign of Jewish kings, and it marks the start of the year for the three Jewish pilgrimages. Its injunction is expressly stated in the Hebrew Bible: "This month shall be unto you the beginning of months" (Exo. 12:2). However, ordinary years, Sabbatical years, Jubilees, and dates inscribed on legal deeds and contracts are reckoned differently; such years begin on the first day of the lunar month Tishri (usually corresponding to the months September–October in the Gregorian calendar). Their injunction is expressly stated in the Hebrew Bible: "Three times in the year you shall keep a feast unto me… the feast of unleavened bread (Passover)… the feast of harvest (Shavuot)… and the feast of ingathering (Sukkot) which is at the departing of the year" (Exo. 23:14–16). "At the departing of the year" implies that the new year begins here.
The reckoning of Tishri as the beginning of the Jewish year began with the early Egyptians and was preserved by the Hebrew nation, being also alluded to in the Hebrew Bible (Genesis 7:11) when describing the Great Deluge at the time of Noah. This began during the "second month" (Marheshvan) counting from Tishri, a view that has largely been accepted by the Sages of Israel.
The Mishnah contains the second known reference to Rosh Hashanah as the "day of judgment" (Yom haDin). In the Talmud tractate on Rosh Hashanah, it states that three books of account are opened on Rosh Hashanah, wherein the fate of the wicked, the righteous, and those of the intermediate class are recorded. The names of the righteous are immediately inscribed in the book of life and they are sealed "to live". The intermediate class is allowed a respite of ten days, until Yom Kippur, to reflect, repent and become righteous; the wicked are "blotted out of the book of the living forever".
Some midrashic descriptions depict God as sitting upon a throne, while books containing the deeds of all humanity are opened for review, and each person passes in front of Him for evaluation of his or her deeds.
"The Holy One said, 'on Rosh Hashanah recite before Me [verses of] Sovereignty, Remembrance, and Shofar blasts (malchiyot, zichronot, shofrot): Sovereignty so that you should make Me your King; Remembrance so that your remembrance should rise up before Me. And through what? Through the Shofar.' (Rosh Hashanah 16a, 34b)"
This is reflected in the prayers composed by classical rabbinic sages for Rosh Hashanah found in traditional Ashkenazi machzorim where the theme of the prayers is the "coronation" of God as King of the universe, in preparation for the acceptance of judgments that will follow on that day.
The best-known ritual of Rosh Hashanah is the blowing of the shofar, a musical instrument made from an animal horn. The shofar is blown at various points during the Rosh Hashanah prayers, with a total of 100 blasts on each day.
While the blowing of the shofar is a Biblical statute, it is also a symbolic "wake-up call", stirring Jews to mend their ways and repent. The shofar blasts call out: "Sleepers, wake up from your slumber! Examine your ways and repent and remember your Creator."
On Rosh Hashanah day, religious poems called piyyutim, are added to the regular services. A special prayer book, the mahzor (plural mahzorim), is used on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. A number of additions are made to the regular service, most notably an extended repetition of the Amidah prayer for both Shacharit and Mussaf. The Shofar is blown during Mussaf at several intervals. (In many synagogues, even little children come and hear the Shofar being blown.) Biblical verses are recited at each point. According to the Mishnah, ten verses (each) are said regarding kingship, remembrance, and the shofar itself, each accompanied by the blowing of the shofar. A variety of piyyutim, medieval penitential prayers, are recited regarding themes of repentance. The Alenu prayer is recited during the repetition of the Mussaf Amidah.
The narrative in the Book of Genesis describing the announcement of Isaac's birth and his subsequent birth, see Genesis chapter 21, is part of the Torah readings in synagogues on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, and the narrative of the sacrifice and binding of Isaac, see Genesis chapter 22, is read in synagogue on the second day of Rosh Hashanah.
Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.
You can't put a limit on anything.
The more you dream, the farther you get.
I couldn't find the sports car of my dreams, so I built it myself.
teaches you character, it teaches you to play by the rules, it teaches
you to know what it feels like to win and lose-it teaches you about
Billie Jean King
Professional tennis player
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing
that it is not fish they are after.
Henry David Thoreau
Essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, and historian
Finding good players is easy.
Getting them to play as a team is another story.
Baseball right fielder and manager
You can't win unless you learn how to lose.
Gold medals aren't really made of gold. They're made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.
Do you know what my favorite part of the game is?
The opportunity to play.
It's good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls
while they are still rolling.
Writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer
Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you.
Gray skies are just clouds passing over.
Football player and television sports commentator
One man practicing sportsmanship is far better
than a hundred teaching it.
Football player and coach
We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time.
Football player, coach, and executive
NY rabbi to congregants: 'If 99% of doctors say to get the COVID vaccine, you get it
Orthodox rabbis encourage their communities to take the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of Rosh Hashanah.
Praying in the synagogue (illustrative)Nati Shohat/Flash 90
Rabbis in multiple Orthodox communities are urging their members to take the COVID-19 vaccine in the days before Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year).
As cases and deaths from the Delta variant continue to rise in parts of the country, rabbis in Baltimore, Maryland, and New York's Long Island released video messages calling on unvaccinated community members to take the shot.
"You haven't lived through enough?" asked Rabbi Yaakov Bender, head of Yeshiva Darchei Torah in Far Rockaway, before adding a sentence in Yiddish. Far Rockaway, which is home to a large Orthodox community, has one of the lowest rates of vaccination in New York City. "We in the community have to realize that if 99% of doctors say to take the shot, you take the shot. What are we, playing games?"
In a video from the Long Island rabbis, which was released Wednesday, directly addresses one piece of misinformation about the vaccines that has spread widely in Orthodox communities: that they can adversely impact fertility for men and women. In the Orthodox community, where birth rates are typically higher than in the general population due to the importance placed on bearing children, such fears have caused some to forgo the vaccine.
"We see no evidence of any kind of negative outcomes for fertility and no evidence of increased risk to women of childbearing age," said Rabbi Shalom Axelrod of the Young Israel of Woodmere said.
Other rabbis stressed the importance of vaccinations to safely celebrate the High Holidays, which are often marked with large gatherings in synagogues and for holiday meals.
"Travel and celebrate the 'yamim noraim' responsibly, get vaccinated now," said one rabbi in the Baltimore video, which was released last month, using the Hebrew words for the High Holidays.
Some of the rabbis even thanked God for the vaccines.
"The 'Ribbono Shel Olam' has given us a gift, safe and effective vaccines," one said, using a Hebrew term for G-d.
A license to eat
We have a license to enjoy the resources of the world: We can eat its food, utilize its vast possibilities. But there are several caveats.
When you work in your fellow's vineyard, you have a license to eat his grapes. When you visit your neighbor's vineyard, you don't have a license to eat them. If you pluck a grape during a visit without permission, it is theft.
How much can you eat if you work in the vineyard? You have a license to eat until you are sated. but you can't overeat, and you can't take any grapes home to share with your family and friends.
This is a straightforward rule that makes sense.
The Torah is compassionate. If you hire someone to work in your vineyard under the hot sun, don't make him starve. If he is working with luscious grapes all day, don't deny him the license to pop one or two into his mouth. At the same time, the law doesn't allow him take advantage of you. He can't eat beyond his fill, and he can't take them home to throw a party.
Though there are many laws in the Torah that apply to a narrow group of people, each law has relevance to all Jews. Every passage in the Torah is the heritage of every Jew. How does this law apply to Jews who don't own or work in vineyards?
We have explained many times that when a law doesn't have pragmatic relevance, it has spiritual relevance. There are many laws in the Torah that apply narrowly to the Holy Land or to the times when the Temple stands on the Temple Mount. These laws are divinely given and are, therefore, eternally relevant. Jews who live outside of Israel or when the Temple is not standing, fulfill these laws in a spiritual sense.
The entire world is G-d's vineyard. The first thing that strikes you about a vineyard is its order. The vines are planted in neat patterns that maximize the use of the space. The second thing that strikes you is the beauty of the vines and the fragrance of the grapes.
The world can seem chaotic at times. Unpredicted storms take out entire villages or waterfronts. Sudden plagues destroy entire human, animal, or botanical populations. The wheel of fortune seems fickle and dances to its own tune. Yet, if you peek under the surface, you discover that G-d is behind every seemingly random event. Nothing is perchance. Everything is well planned, and everything has a reason. We can't always see the reason, but it is a vineyard. There is a pattern.
The world can seem mean and vindictive. There is crime, war, terrorism, violence, hatred, bigotry, discrimination, racism, and many other terrible forces that plague us. But if we think this way, we are narrowly focused on the negative. If we take in the entire picture, we see that the world is G-d's beautiful vineyard. It is planted with fragrant beautiful vines that produce luscious, delicious fruit.
Working for G-d
If the world is G-d's vineyard, then we need permission to be in it. We are not automatically entitled to enter another's vineyard. Our license to enter the vineyard is on account of our work here. G-d placed us in His vineyard to tend to it and to harvest it. The fruits that we harvest are the good deeds that we do.
So long as we perform Mitzvot, and discharge our duties as G-d's employees, we are entitled to partake of G-d's largesse. We have a license to enjoy the resources of the world. We can eat its food, cut down its trees to build houses, and utilize its vast resources to provide for our needs.
But there are several caveats. We can't take more than we need, and we can't take it home. Let's unpack each of these separately.
More Than You Need
There is no need to make do with the bare minimum. The Torah tells us that the employee has a license to eat until he is sated and that is a highly subjective limit. One person is sated with more, another other with less. It depends on what each person is accustomed to.
A prince is accustomed to eating more than a peasant. A larger person requires more than a smaller person. As G-d's children and divine princes, we are entitled to live in luxury. A pious person need not live in poverty. We are allowed to have a nice house, comfortable cars, a vacation home, and enough money to provide for our family prosperously.
But if we buy something we really don't need and we want it only because it is a status symbol, we have taken more than we need. If we buy a mansion that has more rooms than we can use, we are exceeding our needs. If we buy a Bentley only to show off to our friends, we are exceeding our needs. When we pay extra for something that has no practical benefit except for the social value conferred by the label, we are stoking our ego, not serving our needs. If we have a need for something, we have a license to buy it. If it is beyond our needs, we lose our license.
Don't Take It Home
The other piece to remember is that we can't take it home. We live on earth temporarily. Before we were born, our souls were in heaven. After our passing, we will return to heaven. Heaven is our true home. Earth is just a stopover.
When we go home, we won't be able to take our wealth with us. We can collect whatever we need to eat while we are in the vineyard until we are sated. But we can't put it in our basket to take home. Don't spend your life collecting a vast fortune that you can't possibly spend during your lifetime. You can't take it with you.
Remember, you are in the vineyard as an employee. You are here to work, not to collect the owner's grapes. Take what you need, and the owner will be happy to let you have it. But don't hoard. Don't take more than you can use in a single lifetime.
Remember the Score
When we partake of the world's largess, we must remember to whom it belongs. It does not belong to us. It belongs to G-d. He allows us to have it during our employment. So long as we work for G-d, we can use His bounty. If we stop working, G-d forbid, we lose our license to His bounty.
This also means that every time we enjoy His grapes, we must remember to acknowledge and thank Him. This is why a Jew recites a blessing before and after eating. We acknowledge that the fruits belong to G-d and that we eat at His pleasure. We ask Him for permission to partake of His largess, and we thank Him for it when we are done.
Rabbi Eliezer (Lazer) Gurkow, currently serving as rabbi of congregation Beth Tefilah in London, Ontario, is a well-known speaker and writer on Torah issues and current affairs.
It's not about me
Why don't we ask forgiveness for our personal sins on Rosh Hashana if it is the Day of Judgment?
An age old question asked concerning Rosh Hashanah is this--why don't we ask forgiveness for our personal sins on Rosh Hashana?
In the 'Machzor', the prayers emphasize so many great things related to Hashem and creation but barely a reference to the individual's personal requests, needs, and above all teshuva! In fact, if we think about it, the Jewish New Year is over two days that every single one of us and the entire world is judged. These are the days that Hashem declares what will happen to us in this coming year, and rules on our health, wealth and everything else...
Therefore, would it not follow that we should plead, beg and cry over these vital personal issues? As an analogy, let's say someone was judged guilty and came before a human judge who was about to decide on his sentence, which could mean death. Obviously, we would expect the person to urgently plead for mercy and ask forgiveness for any act or deed that he is charged for. Where does all this appear in our prayer book for Rosh Hashanah?!
Stop Thinking About Yourself
The Gaon of Vilna (Siddur Ha'Gra- introduction to Tefilat Rosh Hashanah) , the Gra, asks this question and explains this with an amazing Zohar. The Zohar's describes someone who asks for a personal request on Rosh Hashanah, also called (Yom Hadin), as comparable to a dog barking 'hav hav' (This is the Aramaic word that means 'give me' and also the Hebrew equivalent of 'ruff' 'ruff'!).
We are told to choose a different approach. Stop thinking about yourself! Put your personal troubles, needs, and desires aside. We don't even deal with our own sins and failures, because that is not germane to the theme of the day. It just isn't about us. However, it is about Hashem's Malchut (kingdom), Hashem's presence in this world, His nation that is dispersed in exile, the Temple Mount that is empty from the Mikdash and the Almighty's power that is not yet fully recognized.
By taking this attitude, explains the Gra, we show our great love for Hashem, we show that we care about what is important to Him. And of course, we show our care for 'Klal Yisrael'. By internalizing this we understand the correct proportions in life; what is important and what is secondary.
Is it legitimate to request personal needs?
The Lubavitcher Rebbe (Otzar Likutei Sichot, Rosh Hoshana B') also discusses this thought. He explains something very enlightening about the story of Chanah. One might ask- Is there legitimacy for my personal requests and needs from Hashem? The davening of Rosh Hashanah does allude to this indirectly.
The story of Chanah tells us (Sefer Shmuel: chapter 1) that she had no children and was praying in the Mishkan in Shiloh for a child. While praying a heartbreaking Tefilah by moving her lips soundlessly, Eli, the Kohen Gadol, suspected her of being drunk and asked her to refrain from drinking. Then she replied that she is praying for a child.
The Rebbe gives this a very unique interpretation. He writes that Eli actually realized that she was praying from the bottom of her heart, although he claimed that while standing "In front of Hashem" In the Holy Temple, this isn't the time and place to ask for such "small" and personal requests.
Chanah's incredible reply was that she was asking for a child who will grow to be a great Tzaddik and bring enormous help to the entire nation (Mesechet Brachos, Lamed Alef).
Chanah teaches us that even our personal desires can be connected to this greater good. You want to be rich? You want health? Great! The question is – What will you do with that wealth? Why do you want to live and add additional years to your life? At this special time of the year we look deep inside of ourselves.
The answer is that we cry out to Hashem is to help us with our personal troubles-- all for His sake..
See you on Thursday bli neder as Rosh Hashanah lasts two days