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Post Labor Day Whites
Post Labor Day Whites

When is it fashionably acceptable to wear white after Labor Day? On Yom Kippur!Many people have the custom of wearing white on Yom Kippur. In the synagogue you will often see women dressed in white suits or dresses and men bedecked in a white garment k…

From Holy God To Holy King
From Holy God To Holy King

On Rosh Hashana, God judges the world (and all the people therein), but their fates are not sealed until 10 days later, on Yom Kippur. It is during these ten days that we must present a compelling case of our worthiness to the heavenly court.These ten …

The Fast of Gedaliah (Tzom Gedaliah)
The Fast of Gedaliah (Tzom Gedaliah)

The Fast of Gedaliah is observed to commemorate the murder of Gedaliah the son of Achikam, which is described in the last chapter of the Second Book of Kings. This murder resulted in the exile of the Jews who remained in Judea after the Babylonian…

Two Days As One Day
Two Days As One Day

How many days is Rosh Hashana? It seems the simplest of questions, since all around the world, no matter where you may be, Rosh Hashana is celebrated for two days (as opposed to the first and last days of Passover, Shavuot, the first days of Sukkot and…

Tashlich
Tashlich

The Rosh Hashana tashlich ceremony is a tradition that is dear throughout the many diverse Jewish communities. Tashlich literally translates as “You will throw.” But what, exactly, is it?Tashlich is meant to be a symbolic physi…

Annulment of Vows
Annulment of Vows

“I swear that this time I will lose weight””I am going to pray every day…”We make promises all the time. We swear that we are going to do something, and then hope that we will be in a position to fulfill the vow.But did you know that according to the…

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.

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