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Rosh Hashanah ‘Guide for the Perplexed’

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The evening of Mpnday Sept. 6, 2021 will launch the 5782nd Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah). Annual reminder The Hebrew word rosh (ראש) means “head/beginning” and hashanah (השנה) means “the year.” The root of the Hebrew word shanah is both “repeat” and “change.”...
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at a ceremony announcing the winners of the Wolf Foundation award, at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, on Jan. 16, 2019. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Rosh Hashanah 5781: Only together

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My fellow Israelis, tonight I am speaking to you on the eve of the State of Israel’s second lockdown, and I ask you to open your heart to me and to what I have...
An Israeli police officer outside of a synagogue in Jerusalem as the government imposes coronavirus restrictions, April 5, 2020. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Rosh Hashanah prayers during lockdown: A guide for perplexed Israelis

Synagogues across Israel were busy on Wednesday making preparations for Rosh Hashanah prayer services under the shadow of coronavirus and public-health restrictions. The Health Ministry has issued clarifications for its regulations on holiday prayer, with...
Chassidic men pray on the beach on Sept. 17, 2018 in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod as part of the High Holiday ritual of Tashlich, where believers symbolically cast off their sins into the water. Typically done on Rosh Hashanah, the tradition can take place up until Hoshanah Rabbah, the seventh day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Photo by Yossi Zeliger/Flash90.

Millions of Jews worldwide pause to observe Yom Kippur

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The holiest day in the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, was set to commence at sunset on Tuesday. It’s a time when Israel come to a near-complete pause. Many Israelis observe a 25-hour fast and attend...

Yom Kippur 5780, music and memory

In just a little while, the notes of Kol Nidre will start playing, that melody that moves the one who knows its meaning as much as the one who knows nothing about it. Theodor...
U.S. President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on Nov. 14, 2018. Credit: Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian.

On pre-holiday call, Trump highlights exiting Iran deal, backing Holocaust education, battling anti-Semitism

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In the annual call on Friday ahead of the Rosh Hashanah holiday between Jewish communal leaders and the president of the United States, U.S. President Donald Trump recalled a friend telling him that neither...
Former President Barack Obama addressing the biennial conference of the Union for Reform Judaism, Dec. 16, 2011. Credit: Union of Reform Judaism.

Reform launches a political war in time for the High Holidays

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It turns out that the Jewish community didn’t need to wait until the synagogues were packed for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in order to gauge the amount of political rhetoric that American rabbis...
Apples in autumn. Credit: Pixabay.

Fall into the flavors of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

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Rosh Hashanah falls late on the calendar this year, at the end of the back-to-school month and at the beginning of the first signs of fall. No matter; somehow, there are always those last-minute...
Students at Elon University in North Carolina read from the Torah. Credit: Elon University Hillel.

High Holiday challenge for college kids: Finding their (spiritual) home away from home

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Spending the High Holidays away from home can be a lonely experience. And, sadly, without the family around, many a Jewish college student simply ignores the call of the shofar—even the apples and honey—and attends...
Scubi Jew: EC Environmental Divers and University of Tampa Hillel students combined forces at Maximo Park in St. Petersburg, Fla. Source: Facebook.

‘Reverse Tashlich’ program encourages Jews to keep the oceans clean

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A Florida-based program aimed at reconnecting Jewish people to the ocean and empowering them to help keep the sea clean is attracting attention from communities around the United States and even in Israel. On Rosh...