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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On Being Good – Ki Teitzei 5775

The Talmud states that we are judged every day, and according to one opinion, every moment – so what is special about Rosh HaShana as the Day of Judgement?  One answer to this question is alluded to by Maimonides, and I think is central to our goals at this time of year.  The month of Ellul and the approaching Days of Awe, Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. are not about ...

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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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