Thursday, October 29th 2020   |

Rosh Hashanah



The Shofar is sounded every weekday in Elul to herald the approach of Rosh Hashanah. While an expert can induce a rousing spiritual experience with a powerful Shofar blast, Jewish Law insists that “all sounds produced with the Shofar are valid.” Euphonious tones… as well as squeaks, sputters, groans, gravelly rasps, and jarring squawks: all Kosher (Rosh Hashanah 27B; OH 587:1)!

This principle reminds us...

Ukraine and Israel, in joint statement, urge pilgrims to Uman to stay home this Rosh Hashanah


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Ukraine’s interior minister said his country will implement a ban on the convergence of foreign pilgrims at Uman for the annual Rosh Hashanah pilgrimage as a coronavirus restriction.

Arsen Avakov also stressed that the Ministry of Internal Affairs will provide “all technical measures to implement the above quarantine restrictions in Uman,” according to a statement on the ministry’s website.

Avakov noted in the statement...

Inspiring Jews we lost in 5779

By JTA Staff

(JTA) — The close of every year brings with it bittersweet reminders of the incredible figures we lost in the year that was.

This year the task of remembering the departed is particularly fraught as 12 people on the list were lost to acts of anti-Jewish violence in U.S. synagogues. Along with the shooting victims in Pittsburgh and Poway, California, are artists, activists and ordinary folks who...



Shanah Tovah! Wishing you much blessing in 5780!

The sounding of the Shofar – the ram’s horn – is a much anticipated highlight of Rosh Hashanah worship. Explanations of this observance abound:

The Shofar was heard at Mount Sinai, where Israel became a nation and entered into our Covenant with God.

The Shofar heralds the final Judgement, the coming of the Messianic Era, and the...

Rosh Hashanah is how we prove our humanity. Are you ready?


NEW YORK (JTA) — Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of mankind. But if Rosh Hashanah is indeed the collective birthday of humanity, why do we “celebrate” with all our focus on God, sin and repentance?  The Rosh Hashanah liturgy is filled with references of God’s kingship as humanity stands in judgment before him. If the imagery of the prayer book is any indication, Rosh Hashanah commemorates man’s creation...

Molly Yeh’s Apple Cider Brisket: A treat for brunch, too


This slow-cooked brisket is featured on season 4 of Molly Yeh’s Food Network show “Girl Meets Farm,” which captures her life on a sugar beet farm. Flavored with apple cider and maple syrup, it embraces Rosh Hashanah food traditions and, best of all, can be enjoyed at any time of day.

Serve with carrot hash with eggs and pesto for a decadent brunch, as seen on “Girl...

Mayim Bialik shares her 10 mea culpas for Rosh Hashanah


LOS ANGELES (JTA) — In the Reform synagogue I was raised in, they taught us a song around the Jewish New Year:

Let’s be friends. Make amends. Now’s the time to say I’m sorry.

Let’s be friends. Make amends. Please say you’ll forgive me.

For the 10 days of teshuvah, it’s time to make up; time to pray.

Take my hand and I’ll take yours. Let’s be...

The 8 must-read Jewish news stories of 5779


(JTA) — The Jewish calendar year 5779 was a turbulent and often painful one for Jews around the world. Mounting global anti-Semitism, two deadly American synagogue shootings and two (as yet) inconclusive Israeli elections in the space of just a few months were among the stories that defined and helped frame the communal discussion as the new year approaches.

These are the Jewish stories that most captured...

Why Stephen Miller’s childhood rabbi singled him out in his Rosh Hashanah sermon


(JTA) — Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels didn’t mince words when he criticized Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump and a former congregant of his Southern California synagogue, in his Rosh Hashanah sermon.

“Honestly, Mr. Miller, you’ve set back the Jewish contribution to making the world spiritually whole through your arbitrary division of these desperate families at our southern border,” Comess-Daniels said.

The rabbi, who leads...



It is customary on Rosh Hashanah, or later during the Ten Days of Repentance, to perform the ceremony of “Tashlich.” We go to a body of water and symbolically cast off our past sins and failings by throwing bread (or pocket lint!) into the water. We recite Micah 7:19 – “God will have compassion upon us… and You will cast all our sins into the...