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Post  Admin on Mon 10 Sep 2018, 10:19 pm

continued from previous post.
ABC's of Rosh Hashanah
May 21, 2002  |  by Rabbi Shraga Simmons
A handy checklist of everything you need to know for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
http://www.aish.com/h/hh/rh/guide/48939217.html?s=mm
Pre-Rosh Hashanah
A key component of Rosh Hashanah preparation is to ask for forgiveness from anyone we may have wronged during the previous year. To the greatest extent possible, we want to begin the year with a clean slate – and without anyone harboring a grudge against us. Similarly, we should be quick to forgive those who have wronged us.
 
Many people have the custom of going to the mikveh before Rosh Hashanah after midday. A mikveh, which has the power to purify from certain types of spiritual impurities, can be an important part of the teshuva process.
 
Some have the custom of visiting a cemetery on the day before Rosh Hashanah and praying at the graves of the righteous. Of course, we do not pray "to" the righteous, but only to God who hears our prayers in the merit of the righteous.
 
The morning before Rosh Hashanah, we perform "Hatarat Nedarim" – annulling of vows. In Torah terms, saying something as simple as "I refuse to eat candy" can be considered a legal vow. Therefore, before Rosh Hashanah, we annul any vows, whether made intentionally or not. This is done by standing in front of three adult males and asking to be released from one’s vows. The full text can be found in a Siddur or Rosh Hashanah Machzor.
 
The Festive Meal
During the High Holidays, a round challah is used – symbolizing fullness and completion. After making the "Hamotzi" blessing, it is customary to dip the bread into honey – symbolizing our prayer for a sweet new year.
 
Then, after the bread has been eaten, take an apple and dip it in honey. Make a blessing on the apple (since "Hamotzi" did not cover the apple) and eat a little bit of the apple. Then say, "May it be Your will, God, to renew us for a good and sweet new year." (OC 583)
 
Why do we ask for both a "good" AND "sweet" year? Doesn't the word "good" automatically include "sweet?" Judaism teaches that everything happens for the good. It is all part of the Divine will. Even things that may look "bad" in our eyes, are actually "good." So we ask that in addition to good, the year should be a "revealed" good – i.e. one that tastes "sweet" to us.
 
On Rosh Hashanah, we add the paragraph "Ya'aleh V'yavo" in Grace After Meals.
 
Symbolic Foods
On Rosh Hashanah, we eat foods that symbolize good things we hope for in the coming year. We contemplate what these foods symbolize, and connect with the Source of all good things. Here is a list from the Talmud of symbolic foods customarily eaten on Rosh Hashanah. (The food and its related meaning are written in capital letters.)
 
After eating LEEK or CABBAGE, say: "May it be Your will, God, that our enemies be CUT OFF."
After eating BEETS, say: "May it be Your will, God, that our adversaries be REMOVED."
After eating DATES, say: "May it be Your will, God, that our enemies be FINISHED."
After eating GOURD, say: "May it be Your will, God, that the decree of our sentence should be TORN apart, and may our merits be PROCLAIMED before You."
After eating POMEGRANATE, say: "May it be Your will, God, that our merits increase as the seeds of a POMEGRANATE."
After eating the HEAD of a sheep or fish, say: "May it be Your will, God, that we be as the HEAD and not as the tail.
You can also use other foods and make up your own "May it be Your will…" For example, eat a raisin and celery, and ask God in the coming year for a "raise in salary" (raisin celery)!
 
Rosh Hashanah Prayers
Since there are so many unique prayers on Rosh Hashanah, we use a special prayer book called a "Machzor."
 
In the "Amidah" and "Kiddush" for Rosh Hashanah, we say the phrase "Yom Teruah." However, if Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbat, we say "Zichron Teruah" instead. (If one inadvertently said the wrong phrase, he needn't repeat the prayer.)
 
The supplication "Avinu Malkeinu" should be said on Rosh Hashanah, except when Rosh Hashanah and Shabbat coincide, since supplications are not said on Shabbat. If Rosh Hashanah falls on a Friday, "Avinu Malkeinu" is not said at Mincha.


The curtain on the ark is changed to white.
During the High Holidays, the curtain on the ark is changed to a white one, to symbolize that our "mistakes will be whitened like snow."
The "Amidah" prayer of Musaf contains three special blessings: "Malchiot" (praises to God the King), "Zichronot" (asking God to remember the merits of our Ancestors), and "Shofrot" (the significance of the shofar).
The chazan (cantor) for the High Holidays should not be chosen for his vocal talents alone. Ideally, he should be over 30 years old, God fearing, learned in Torah, humble, and married. Rather than cause strife in the community, a Chazzan under the age of 30 who possesses the other qualifications, may serve.
Since it is a question as to whether the "She'hechianu" blessing should be said on the second day of Rosh Hashanah, the custom is to eat a new fruit or wear a new garment – and say "She'hechianu" upon it.
The Shofar
The essential mitzvah of Rosh Hashanah is to hear the shofar.
The shofar used on Rosh Hashanah should be a curved ram's horn, and longer than four inches. It is permitted to use the shofar of an animal not ritually slaughtered.
The minimum Torah obligation is to hear nine blasts. However, given a doubt whether the sound should be a groaning type of cry (Shevarim), or a sobbing weep (Teruah), or a combination (Shevarim-Teruah), we perform all three sounds – each preceded and followed by an unbroken blast, Tekiah. Three of each set results in 30 blasts total, which remove all doubt that the Torah precept has been fulfilled.
The shofar is regarded as a spiritual alarm clock, awakening us from our slumber.
The shofar should be blown during the daytime. Everyone should stand, and have the intention that their obligation is being fulfilled.
Before blowing, two blessings are recited: "To hear the sound of the shofar," and "She'hechianu." Once the blessings have been made, one may not speak until the end of the shofar blowing.
A woman may sound the shofar for herself after saying the blessing. (Sefardi women do not say a blessing.) A child who is old enough to be educated regarding mitzvot is required to hear the Shofar.
The shofar is not blown when Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbat.
During the chazan's repetition of the Musaf "Amidah," an additional 30 blasts are blown in the various combinations.
It is the custom to blow 40 extra blasts at the end of services, bringing the total to 100.
It is customary to prolong the final blast, called "Tekiah Gedolah."
Other Customs
It is customary to greet others with: "L'shana Tova – Ketivah vi-chatima Tova." This means: "For a good year – You should be written and sealed in the good (Book of Life)."
One should try not to sleep or go for idle walks on the day of Rosh Hashanah. (The Arizal permits a nap in the afternoon.)
It is advisable to avoid marital relations, except if Rosh Hashanah falls on the night of the wife's immersion.
If a Bris Milah falls on Rosh Hashanah, it should be performed between the Torah reading and the shofar blowing.
Tashlich
The "Tashlich" prayer is said on the first afternoon of Rosh Hashanah, by a pool of water, preferably with fish in it. This prayer is the symbolic casting away of our mistakes. Surely we do not “rid our sins” by shaking out our pockets – rather the Jewish approach is deep introspection and commitment to change. Indeed, the whole idea of "Tashlich" is partly to commemorate the Midrash that says when Abraham went to the Akeida (binding of Isaac), he crossed through water up to his neck.
If Rosh Hashanah falls out on Shabbat, "Tashlich" takes place on the second day. If "Tashlich" was not said on Rosh Hashanah itself, it may be said anytime during the Ten Days of Teshuva.
Tashlich is said by a pool of water, preferably with fish in it.
Both the body of water and the fish are symbolic. In Talmudic literature, Torah is represented as water. Just as fish can't live without water, so too a Jew can't live without Torah.
Also, the fact that a fish's eyes never close reminds us that, so too, God's eyes (so to speak) never close; He knows of our every move.
This is the text of "Tashlich:"
Who is like You, God, who removes iniquity and overlooks transgression of the remainder of His inheritance. He doesn't remain angry forever because He desires kindness. He will return and He will be merciful to us, and He will conquer our iniquities, and He will cast them into the depths of the seas.
Give truth to Jacob, kindness to Abraham like that you swore to our ancestors from long ago.
From the straits I called upon God, God answered me with expansiveness. God is with me, I will not be afraid, what can man do to me? God is with me to help me, and I will see my foes (annihilated). It is better to take refuge in God than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in God, that to rely on nobles.
Many people also read Psalms 33 and 130.
About the Author
Rabbi Shraga SimmonsMore by this Author >
Rabbi Shraga Simmons is the co-founder of Aish.com, and co-author of "48 Ways to Wisdom" (ArtScroll). He is Founder and Director of Aish.com's advanced learning site. He is co-founder of HonestReporting.com, and author of "David & Goliath", the definitive account of anti-Israel media bias. Originally from Buffalo, New York, he holds a degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, and rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem. He lives with his wife and children in the Modi'in region of Israel.

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Post  Admin on Sun 09 Sep 2018, 11:45 am

 Feast Of Trumpets Heralds Good News In Israel Feasts10
Feast Of Trumpets Heralds Good News In Israel
By ONE FOR ISRAEL (Messianic Jews In Israel)
https://www.oneforisrael.org/bible-based-teaching-from-israel/feast-of-trumpets-heralds-good-news-in-israel/
Just as people commonly take stock and think about the course of their lives at the beginning of January, so Israelis take time to reflect each time the Feast of Trumpets comes around.

Jewish and Messianic communities around the world celebrate the Feast of Trumpets by eating sweet foods, typically apples dipped in honey which symbolize a sweet year, and by hearing the stirring noise of the shofar being blown. We have a holiday from work, and wish each other ‘Shana Tova’ (a good year), even though it’s not really the new year according to the Bible – it points to the ultimate, last trumpet of Yeshua’s return! But until that time, each year, we take the opportunity to stand back to take a look at how far we’ve come… and where we are headed.

We invite you to take a look back with us, but to see it all through the eyes of faith in the Messiah and in his word.
God has truly brought his people back to the land, and is continuing to gather them in. There are now more Jews in Israel than in any other country. Of the 14.7 million Jewish people in the world, 6.625 million are living in Israel, just about 75% of Israel’s total population of 8.9 million. The remaining quarter are Muslim and Christian Arabs (21%) and just under 5% are Druze, non-Arab Christians, and other minorities.

We are seeing great steps forward in reaching both the Jewish population and also the Arabic speaking populations with the gospel primarily through media, and many are responding! Our evangelistic videos have been viewed well over 10 million times (that’s more than there are Israelis!) and we are contacted on average every two hours by someone wanting to know more about Jesus. Many have come to faith in this way, both Jews and Arabs.

According to a poll carried out by HaAretz1, “54 percent of Jewish Israelis believe in God, and another 21 percent accept the existence of an undefined superior power other than God”, which is very high compared to other developed and democratic countries. An interesting fact is that of those who do believe in God, a significant majority are young (18-24 years old) compared to only 22% coming from the older generation (65+). The Holocaust severely affected the relationship between the people of Israel and God, and perhaps this is part of the reason for the stark difference. Here at ONE FOR ISRAEL, we are seeing people from all different ages coming to faith in Yeshua, but we would also report that the majority are from the younger generation.

However, there is a huge difference between following religious Judaism with all the rabbinic laws, and following the God of Israel. The rift between the ardently religious and the cynical secularists is growing all the the time, but frustration with the religious powers has led many secular people to become more open to considering the claims of Jesus – the great taboo.

“44.3% of Israelis define themselves as secular, while 21.4% are traditional, 12.3% are traditional with religious leanings, 11.5% are religious and 10.2% are ultra-Orthodox”, reports the Times of Israel2. Today we believe that there are at least 30,000 Messianic believers in Israel, which is still a tiny minority, but it is a number that is increasing all the time. The number was about 24 in 1948, but has tripled almost every decade since.

Happy and healthy, but not very wealthy!
The Central Bureau of Statistics data shows that “89% of Israelis satisfied with their lives, more than half exercise regularly, and life expectancy still one of highest in the world”2.

So almost 90% are happy with their lives, but the economic situation for many Israelis is not easy. “37% said they weren’t happy with their financial situation, and 31% said they were struggling to cover their monthly expenses.” The tense Middle East situation and challenging economic realities have not brought the nation down though. Technological breakthroughs and educational advancement are signs of a generally optimistic and successful society, despite the many challenges.

The vast majority of Israelis (84%) reported to be in good health, and the average life expectancy in Israel is 84.6 years for women and 80.7 for men, which is among the highest in the world. Along with that, Israel’s high fertility rate (average 3.11 children per woman), along with steady streams of new Jewish immigrants making “Aliyah” each year, means that the population is expected to reach 10 million in the next six years.

Pray with us that as the nation grows and develops, so body of Messiah will continue to prosper and grow, and that God’s kingdom would advance in all areas and aspects of our society.

Prepare the way of the Lord!

[1] Haaretz Poll: For Rosh Hashanah, a Picture of Israel’s Muddled Jewish Soul, Chemi Shalev, Sep 9th 2018
[2] The Times of Israel: Ahead of Jewish new year, Israel’s population at 8.9 million, largely content, Michael Bachner, Sep 4th 2018
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