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12
votes
2answers
515 views

Is the Book of Life ever really sealed?

In davening and in greetings, we always refer to the "sealing" of the Book of Life. כתיבה וחתימה טובה1 we say; בראש השנה יכתבון וביום צום כיפורים יחתמון2 we pray. Wikipedia says: The High ...
12
votes
2answers
245 views

How should non-Jews observe Rosh HaShanah?

The second mishnah in Rosh HaShanah says that "all the people of the world" are judged on Rosh HaShanah. How should non-Jews observe the Day of Judgment?
12
votes
1answer
267 views

Avinu Malkeinu - middle verses said out loud by Chazan

Why do we repeat out loud the verses of Avinu Malkeinu - from Hachzireinu B'Teshuva until Kosveinu B'Sefer Slicha U'Mechila? Why only these verses? Why not others?
9
votes
5answers
309 views

Uman for Rosh Hashanah?

Why do people leave Eretz Yisroel to go to Uman for Rosh Hashanah? (It seems to me like leaving America for July Fourth.) In general what is the reason people go: is it Just a festival in the ...
8
votes
2answers
522 views

Why the difference in minhagim about wearing a kittel on Yom Kippur only, or also on Rosh Hashanah

My families minhag is to wear a kittel just on Yom Kippur (so I do). But in shul I see a number of folk with the minhag to wear it also on Rosh Hashanah. I know it is related to Yom Hadin, and ...
8
votes
2answers
296 views

Saying “Shehecheyanu” on Mitzvot on the second day of Yom Tov

The two days of Rosh Hashanah are considered as one day (Yoma Arichta), so why do we say Shehecheyanu when we blow the Shofar on the second day? Moreover even if we somehow view it as two days, why ...
8
votes
2answers
95 views

Why do we get judged (Rosh Hashana) before Yom Kippur?

AT first glance it would make more sense to be given a chance to do teshuva before being judged, so why is it the other way around?
7
votes
1answer
144 views

What to think about during each shofar sound

There are all kinds of meanings traditionally associated with the shofar blowing, as well as with each of its individual sounds. During the Rosh Hashana service, we have many sets of repetitions of ...
7
votes
1answer
125 views

Why does Yalkut Yosef recommend women not do “tashlich”?

I read in Yalkut Yossef that women don't need to go to Tashlikh and the Rav Y. Yossef shlit"a concludes with "Shev Veal Tasse Adif" (trans. it's better to do nothing). Does anyone know the reason ? I ...
7
votes
1answer
153 views

Piyyutim on Yomim Noraim. Why do we split phrases against their meaning?

Why is it that in the davenning for Yomim Noraim, we split up the phrases in many of the piyyutim against their real meaning? For example, in “Vechol maaminim shehu…” (p 538 Artscroll Machzor For Yom ...
6
votes
1answer
105 views

How much time is the Tekia of Shofar supposed to take?

When one blows Shofar on Rosh HaShana, how much time is the Tekia supposed to take in order to be Yotzei the Mitzva?
6
votes
2answers
149 views

Shochen Ad, HaKail, HaMelech - why?

Why does the Shaliach Tzibbur start Shacharis on Shabbos from Shochein Ad, on Yom Tov from HaKeil, and on Rosh HaShana/Yom Kippur from HaMelech?
6
votes
2answers
115 views

Why is the Shofar sounded on Rosh Hashanah?

Why is the Shofar sounded on Rosh Hashanah?
6
votes
1answer
96 views

Chazzan wears talis slichos night?

Why does the chazzan for slichot a week before rosh hashana wear a talis? Isn't it clearly night time?
6
votes
1answer
208 views

Yemenite shofar not from sheep

I've heard that Yemenite Jews follow the Rambam for halacha generally, and Wikipedia concurs. The Rambam writes that one must use a sheep's horn as the shofar on Rosh Hashana. Shulchan Aruch is less ...
6
votes
1answer
155 views

Rosh Hashana can't currently land on a Friday, but the first one did

The current fixed calendar works in such a way so that the first day of Rosh Hashana can never fall out on a Friday, but this is the very day on which the first Rosh Hashana fell! What gives?
6
votes
1answer
189 views

Why a formulaic greeting on ליל ראש השנה?

On Rosh Hashana night, it is customary to greet one another with "לשנה טובה תכתב (ותחתם)‏" (Rama 582:9, MB). People (in my experience) and machzorim (Rosh Hashana prayer books) treat this as ...
6
votes
2answers
146 views

High Holy Days silent musaf: do we bow at וַאֲנַחְנוּ כֹּרעִים ומִשְׁתַּחֲוִים?

In the musaf amidah on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we say the Oleinu prayer. This is also said towards the end of most services when there is a custom to bow when saying וַאֲנַחְנוּ כֹּרעִים ...
5
votes
6answers
179 views

Apple on Rosh HaShanah

There is a custom of eating an apple dipped in honey on first night of Rosh HaShanah (among the other foods) as a sign that we should have a sweet year. Why is this done specifically with an apple and ...
5
votes
3answers
150 views

Why don't women go to the mikvah before rosh hashanna and yom kippur?

AFAIK it is common practice for Jewish men to go to the mikvah erev rosh hashanna and erev yom kippur, but not for women to do the same. Why don't women also go? I'm asking about both married and ...
5
votes
2answers
141 views

Us'shuva us'fila utz'daka maavirin… so what?

Why is so much emphasis given to the line "us'shuva us'fila utz'daka maavirin..." in the Rosh Hashana and Yom Kipur prayers? It seems to be the most emphasized line of all, with people shouting it and ...
5
votes
1answer
94 views

Useshuva Usefillah Utzedakah maavirin es roah hagezeira, where is this from?

Does anyone know the history of how "Useshuvah Usefillah Utzedakah maavirin es roah hagezeirah" was put into our Tefillah and/or who wrote it? (It's in the chazaras hashatz for musaf on Rosh Hashana ...
5
votes
2answers
56 views

Why by “Ut'shuva, Utefila UItzedaka” does it say “Zom, Kol, Mamon”?

On top of the words ut'shuvah utefila utzedakah1 in most machzorim it also says Zom, Kol, Mamon2. Why zom on teshuvah if the Rambam's formula for teshuva (Hl. Teshuva 2) no mention of fasting; why ...
5
votes
2answers
147 views

Online resources for traditional Ashkenazi Rosh Hashana melodies?

I received a request for help this afternoon and it's already Shabbat in the requester's time zone, so I'm asking on her behalf. A small community has just lost their Rosh Hashana sh'liach tzibbur ...
5
votes
1answer
85 views

Why is the word Shofar somtimes spelled with a Vav and somtimes without a Vav?

There are times that the word Shofar is spelled without a Vav - for example שמות: יט. טז. ויהי ביום השלישי בהית הבקר ויהי קלת וברקים וענן כבד על ההר וקל שפר חזק מאד ויחרד כל העם אשר במחנה or שמות: ...
4
votes
2answers
207 views

Drinking on Rosh HaShanah

Rosh HaShanah has two opposite aspects, one of judgment, and one of Yom Tov. We spend the day(s) in prayer and literally plead for our lives. Yet we eat festive meals and drink wine for Kiddush. Is ...
4
votes
2answers
137 views

What is the origin of the shofar sounds?

There are 4 major shofar sounds, or notes, sounded on Rosh Hashana: Tekiah: A long, continuous blast. Shevarim: Three short "broken" blasts. Teruah: A rapid series of nine or more very short blasts. ...
4
votes
4answers
220 views

How to celebrate Rosh Hashanah one day later?

Erev Rosh Hashanah falls this year in my country on public holiday. We would like to have a celebration with some other families (and a lot of kids) - it was great success last year - but we are ...
4
votes
3answers
168 views

The dagesh in “elo-ha” means what?

I'm not so clear on the use of the dagesh as a point of definition -- I understand some fo the pronunciation issues but not all of them either so I would appreciate any help here. I recall learning ...
4
votes
1answer
113 views

Who wrote the piyutim of Rosh Hashana/Yom Kippur?

I don't know if they are technically called "piyutim", but there is a nusach we say on Rosh Hashana/Yom Kippur between "Ata Kadosh" to "Hamelech Hakadosh". Was that decreed by the Anshei Knesses ...
4
votes
1answer
46 views

Rosh Hashanah and Zecher Liyitziyas Mitzrayim

Rosh Hashanah is to my knowledge the Jewish New Year and the coronation of Hashem as our king amongst some of the reason for the Holiday yet we say in the Kiddush it is a remembrance for leaving ...
4
votes
1answer
95 views

Tehilim 47 - said 7 times before the blowing of the Shofar

What is the source and reason for saying Tehilim 47 - 7 times before the blowing of the Shofar?
4
votes
1answer
41 views

Taigalach for Rosh HaShana

Many people have the Minhag to eat Taigalach on Rosh Hashana. To the best of my knowledge Taigalach is made with walnuts. How does this jive with the Minhag not to eat nuts on Rosh Hashana since Egoz ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Rosh hashana: is it really two days?

Regarding the chagim (festivals), we know that a chag is really one day (not including the rabbinic chag a/k/a yom tov sheini). However, for Rosh hashana, Israelis observe a two day festival. So is ...
3
votes
1answer
40 views

How did the triennial torah reading fulfill the takanas Ezra?

Ezra declared that the curses in Vayikra be read before Shavuos and those in Devarim before Rosh HaShanna (megillah 31b), how was that accomplished by those in Eretz Yisrael who had a triennial system ...
3
votes
3answers
130 views

Do you do a hataras nidui (rescinding of excommunication) before Rosh HaShanah?

When I was in yeshiva, we'd get together ten guys and then one person would approach and say: אם נתחייבתי בנידוי, הרי אני מבקש התרה ממעלתכם If I have been liable of excommunication, I hereby ...
3
votes
1answer
271 views

Can a convert (ger tzedek) serve on a beis din to annul a non-convert's vows?

If I understand correctly, there are certain cases where a convert can't serve on a beis din judging a native-born Jew. Yet when we break into groups of three for hataras nedarim (annulment of vows), ...
3
votes
3answers
123 views

Signifigance of the foods eaten on Rosh Hashanah?

What is the Significance of the foods eaten on Rosh Hashanah,now i know the gemara brings them down but why did the Gemara choose these particular ones also the apple in honey whats the significance ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

Aveilus and Davening from the Omud on Rosh Hashana / Yom Kippur?

Can a Ba'al tefillah in his year of aveilus daven from the Omud on Rosh Hashana / Yom Kippur?
3
votes
1answer
182 views

A new knife for Rosh Hashanah?

There is a custom to buy a knife for Rosh Hashanah: the qualifier is that the knife not be serrated. What is the source for this custom and what is the significance of the knife not having edges?
3
votes
1answer
141 views

How do you pronounce the הוי״ה in hataras nedarim (annulment of vows) before Rosh HaShanah?

In the siddurs I've seen, we ask for annulment for vows made "with the name הוי״ה ". That word is left unvowelized. How is it pronounced?
3
votes
1answer
77 views

Prohibition of eating before hearing the shofar. Source and exceptions

The question is additional to the question of eating before praying in the morning. Where is the source for not eating before hearing the shofar? Is there a permission to eat something in order to ...
3
votes
1answer
190 views

Rosh HaShana greeting - L'Shana Tova Tikosaivu - V'chain L'Mar

Rama Orach Chaim 582:9 says in the name of the Tur that the Minhag is to wish one another on the evening of Rosh HaShana L'Shana Tova Tikosaiv. Is there a source that says that people should answer ...
3
votes
2answers
121 views

Why no play on words for apple and honey?

The other simanim eaten on Rosh Hashana contain a play on words with the name of the food and either a wish for a good omen or a wish for bad to befall our enemies. The yehi ratzon for the apple has ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

How is hataras nedarim (annullment of vows) done one behalf of one's wife?

I've heard: Just have her in mind State it outright "this is for my wife too" Today I saw someone do the whole thing in the plural -- "any vow that we vowed .. we hereby regret ..." Any input on ...
3
votes
0answers
62 views

Mother of Sisera and Tekiyot Why the connection

The Mother of Sisera is the source of our custom of blow one Hundred blasts on Rosh Hashanah (The Complete Artscroll Machzor for Rosh Hashanah, page 584) Why is our custom based on such an evil ...
3
votes
0answers
51 views

Hataras Nedarim for 12 yr old boy

When a boy reaches 12 years old, his nedarim (vows) are considered to be binding. However, I don't believe I've ever seen a 12 year old boy make Hataras Nedarim on Erev Rosh HaShanah. Is there a ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

Why don't Sefardim use Honey on Rosh Hashanah?

I was told there are Sefaradim who do NOT use Honey on Rosh Hashanah. What is the reason for this custom?
2
votes
2answers
81 views

Apples and Rubia

Why is it that Rosh Hashanah we make a Bracha Haetz on the Apple in Honey but no Hadamah is made on the vegetables IF THEY ARE both not directly part of the Seudah?
2
votes
1answer
113 views

Tizku L'Shanim Rabot tovot v'umot?

I was wished this blessing today by a Spanish/Portuguese-descended friend. What is the last word and, by extension, what does the entire phrase mean? My friend did not know, but he said it was a ...