Are You Listening?

As we approach Rosh Hashana and anticipate the blowing of the shofar during prayers, I would like to present five different shofar soundings from our history. The sixth will be, G-d willing, the shofar that heralds the redemption and the Mashiach. Shofar During the Inquisition - Sefer HaTodaah, Rosh Hashanah, Eliyahu KiTov Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain, expelled the Jews from Spain in 1492. It was the ...

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A Brief History of Time

According to Jewish tradition, before God created the first human being, a debate took place in the heavenly court. When the Holy One blessed Be He came to create man, the ministering angels formed into groups, some saying that man should be created, some saying that he should not be created… Kindness voted to create man, because people would perform acts of kindness, Peace voted not to create man, because people ...

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The Month of Elul – Preparing for the High Holidays

We have just entered the month of Ellul, the month during which we prepare for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.  One of preparations is the addition of certain prayers to our daily service and also the daily sounding of the shofar.  According to Jewish tradition, before G-d created the first human being, a debate took place in the heavenly court. When the Holy One blessed Be He came to create man, ...

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Shofar

Setting the Alarm

There is a custom to begin sounding the shofar in the synagogue a month before Rosh Hashanah, the New Year.  The idea is that we have to start the process of change well before Rosh Hashanah to avoid a last minute, panicked rush.  During the month before Rosh Hashanah, known as Elul, the shofar is blown every day after the weekday morning services in order to wake us up from ...

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