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Avinu Malkeinu
Avinu Malkeinu

No prayer so thoroughly captures the Jewish people’s dual relationship with God as Avinu Malkeinu, ”Our Father, Our King.”The exact formulation of this prayer is based on a prayer that Rabbi Akiva (c. 50 – c. 135 C.E.), one of the greatest …

Shofar Shorts
Shofar Shorts

The shofar is one of the most recognizable symbols of Rosh Hashana. Although it is preferable that a shofar be fashioned from a ram’s horn, the horn need only come from a kosher animal.* However, not all the horns of a kosher animal are usable, for i…

Symbolic Foods
Symbolic Foods

Since Rosh Hashana is the Day of Judgment, it is customary to eat simanim,* foods with symbolic meanings that invoke God’s blessing. We also recite a short prayer before eating them. While apple with honey is a universal custom, other symbolic foo…

Birthday of the World
Birthday of the World

According to Jewish tradition, this Wednesday night, when Rosh Hashana begins, the world will be 5774 years old. This claim easily stirs up sharp debate.

The Year Is Set
The Year Is Set

Rosh Hashana, the head of the year, is the day on which God determines the fate and fortune of both individuals and communities for the year to come. It is assumed that on this day God determines exactly how much money one will earn in the coming year….

Selichot
Selichot

In addition to the unique prayer services of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the High Holidays are known for one other service: selichot.

Festive Poems
Festive Poems

Take a survey of the most common adjective used to describe the Jewish High Holidays and the word might just be “long.”

One Book At A Time
One Book At A Time

Those who choose to go (or go back) to college at a more mature age will testify that it is not a simple decision. Beyond the financial and logistical considerations, many find the idea of starting over to be intimidating. Most people, by nature, are a…

Forgiveness: An Elul Treat
Forgiveness: An Elul Treat

Many feel that the three hardest words to say are: “I am sorry.” Yet, we all know how very important those words are. Indeed, saying one is sorry, or at least admitting one’s guilt, is a critical part of the process of teshuvah, repenta…

Rebuilding A World
Rebuilding A World

There are many dramatic stories of the great struggles involved in rebuilding the Jewish people after the Holocaust. Any collection of such stories would be remiss if it did not mention the contributions of Rabbi Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman, better known as…

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