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Rosh Hashanah Reflection

What Jews Will Be Praying for This Rosh Hashanah

Benjamin Blech | Posted 11.24.2014 | Religion
Benjamin Blech

As the canary birds of history, Jews will pray this year not only for blessings for our people but for a world that we have all too clearly seen inevitably shares our fate.

Learning to Fly

Rabbi Will Berkovitz | Posted 11.23.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Will Berkovitz

The month and days preceding the Jewish High Holidays are when we do what is called a heshbon nefesh: an accounting of the soul. We talk to the folks we may have had challenges with in the past year and we strive to make amends -- to ask for forgiveness.

'Hineni' in Our 21st Century Lives

AVODAH | Posted 11.10.2013 | Religion

In the Torah, we are first introduced to the term Hineni when we read about Akedat Yitzchak, the Binding of Isaac, in Chapter 22 of Genesis. When God calls out to Abraham, prior to commanding him to sacrifice his son, Abraham responds, "Hineni."

Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein: Choosing Your Legacy

Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein | Posted 11.09.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein

We all wear masks. We wear a mask to hide our self-perceived faults and weakness: the mask of certainty when we are shaken, the mask of gregariousness when we might be shy the mask of humor when we're hurting, the mask of a victim when we're not.

Sin, Repentance And Yom Kippur

Rabbi David Wolpe | Posted 11.12.2013 | Religion
Rabbi David Wolpe

We are not born in sin; we are each born with powerful tendencies to both good and evil and the drama of human character is in the struggle and balance between the two. The corrective mechanism is teshuva, repentance.

So What Do Jews Do on Yet Another Day Off?

Galit Breen | Posted 11.06.2013 | Religion
Galit Breen

Tashlik, the casting away of regrets, is by far our favorite new year tradition. It surpasses the big meal and the white clothes, the honey cake and the days off from school. I wouldn't have it any other way. Here's why.

Rosh Hashanah 2013: Bring Back Respect for Everyone

Rabbi Ben Greenberg | Posted 11.04.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Ben Greenberg

We live out our lives in intricate webs of human interaction and connection. The journey towards forgiveness and reconciliation with others is not a minor detail of this auspicious season. It is at the very heart of what the Jewish High Holy Days are all about.

What Do You Really Really Want This Rosh Hashanah?

Levi Ben-Shmuel | Posted 11.04.2013 | Religion
Levi Ben-Shmuel

My son Jacob has been playing the Spice Girls 1996 hit "Wannabe" a lot lately. In a flash, the connection between the song and preparation for Rosh Hashanah came to me a few nights ago.

Finding Rosh Hashanah Again

Carla Naumburg | Posted 10.28.2013 | Religion
Carla Naumburg

I don't want Rosh Hashanah to be something I need to deal with. I want it to be a day I look forward to, a time of connection and renewal, a time when I can find my grounding in Judaism after a summer away from services and Hebrew school and with very few Jewish holidays.

Mentally Preparing For The High Holidays

Jordana Horn | Posted 11.11.2012 | Religion
Jordana Horn

Elul is really hard for me: In the darker moments of Elul, and in the darker corners of my mind, I berate myself. But in the course of this month, I try to find ways in which I can be a better parent and person -- and there are plenty.

Life Is Prayer During The Days Of Awe

Cheryl Pearl Sucher | Posted 12.06.2011 | Religion
Cheryl Pearl Sucher

For 10 days a year, I try to live my life as a prayer. I reflect on infinity, aware, as the psalmists, that life is a grain of sand and that I am powerless before the world.

A Message Of Hope On The Jewish New Year

Arnold M. Eisen | Posted 12.06.2011 | Religion
Arnold M. Eisen

Only when we do good together, and see ourselves doing it, will we have hope. God needs us to do this. So does the world.

Asking Forgiveness: A Difficult Conversation

Rabbi Laura Geller | Posted 12.03.2011 | Religion
Rabbi Laura Geller

Our tradition tells us: "For transgressions between one person and another, Yom Kippur does not serve as atonement, until the one offended has been appeased."

They Are Young, Jewish, Proud: Are We Ready To Let Them In?

Rabbi Brant Rosen | Posted 11.29.2011 | Religion
Rabbi Brant Rosen

We love to tell young people how we think they should express their Jewishness, but rarely do we stop long enough to really, truly learn what drives and inspires them.

The Binding Of Isaac And A Message Of Optimism

Rabbi Edward Bernstein | Posted 11.28.2011 | Religion
Rabbi Edward Bernstein

Awe of creation and the Creator permeates one of the central biblical texts of Rosh Hashanah: the binding of Isaac. In a Jewish-environmental context, one rabbinic interpretation might be called an "eco-conscious" reading.

The Binding Of Isaac: A Personal Meditation On Tests Of Faith

Rabbi Jack Bemporad | Posted 11.28.2011 | Religion
Rabbi Jack Bemporad

The accuser challenges God. Take Abraham's son away from him and then see how faithful he will be! Let us recognize that faith is higher than morality and deserves the supreme test.

The True Power Of Repentance And Forgiveness

Rabbi Alan Lurie | Posted 11.28.2011 | Religion
Rabbi Alan Lurie

Repentance and forgiveness are powerful conscious processes that bring growth and lasting healing. That is why for Jews the holiest days of the year are those when we commit our lives to these processes.

Rosh Hashanah Recipes And Finding Faith

Emily Franklin | Posted 11.27.2011 | Religion
Emily Franklin

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and a time for reflecting on the past year while opening wide for the sweetness of the year to come. I'll cook for the Jewish holidays and offer the recipes to you.

Sharing The Light : A Jewel Of Elul By Yisrael Campbell

Posted 11.26.2011 | Religion

Editor's note: There is a great Jewish tradition to dedicate the 29 days in the month of Elul to study and prepare for the coming high holy days. The ...

WATCH: 6 Words About High Holiday Services

Rabbi Dan Ain | Posted 11.27.2011 | Religion
Rabbi Dan Ain

Six words that might get you yo WANT to go to services this year. Performed live at 92YTribeca as part of Smith Magazine's Six-Word Story Show on The Jewish Life.

The Music Of Darkness: A Jewel Of Elul By Karyn Kedar

Posted 11.26.2011 | Religion

Editor's note: There is a great Jewish tradition to dedicate the 29 days in the month of Elul to study and prepare for the coming high holy days. The ...

In The Shadows Of The Sacred: Indecent Exposure For Our Children

Carol Smaldino | Posted 11.23.2011 | Religion
Carol Smaldino

Even before the most recent economic crisis, we have allowed our children to see the devastation of our earth, of our country, of our Native Americans, of our poor people and of our sick people.