Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah: Early, Late or Just Right

September 28, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"And on the seventh month on the first day of the month, it shall be a day of rest. It is a sacred day for remembrance and blowing" (Vayikra 23:24). What the Torah calls a day of blowing (of the ram's horn) is more commonly known as Rosh Hashanah, the New Year. Yet the seventh month seems an odd time to be celebrating the start of a new year. We are apparently six months late…or perhaps it is six months early...
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Rosh Hashanah: A Call to Unity

September 09, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The blowing of the shofar is a most enigmatic mitzvah. The reasons we eat matzah, sit in the Sukkah or take the lulav are readily apparent; they commemorate historical events and/or agricultural seasons. Yet the reason for the blowing of the shofar leaves us mystified. As far as we can tell from the Bible, no actual events took place on the "first day of the seventh month" that would warrant it being declared a...
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Rosh Hashanah: Time for Prayer

September 20, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Rosh Hashanah is first and foremost a day of prayer. Prayer, as Rav Soloveitchik often noted, is rooted in asking G-d to fulfil our needs. One who is fully satisfied with his life has no need to pray. As the Yom haDin, the Day of Judgment, approaches, our needs and thus, the amount of time spent in prayer grows—such that on Yom Kippur, when our fate is sealed, the entire day is spent in prayer. The Torah readings on Rosh...
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Rosh Hashanah: A Redemptive Moment

October 02, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the strengths of the Jewish people is our ability to focus on the future. What we do tomorrow is more important than we did yesterday. The entire notion of teshuva is dependent on our ability to move beyond the past, to say that I can do better tomorrow than yesterday. We are people who exude hope for the future no matter what may have transpired in the past. Only such a people could possibly build one of the most successful countries on...
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Rosh Hashanah: A Great Gift!

September 13, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
  Teshuva tefillah, utzedkaha ma’aveerim et roah hagezeirah - repentance, prayer and tzedakah remove the evil of the decree. Prayer is a great gift from G-d[1]. That the Divine allows human beings, full of sin to approach Him and beseech Him is something we are to be most grateful for. Like many a gift we often do not appreciate what we have been granted. For many prayer is a burden, an obligation that we think we...
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