Rosh HaShanah

Half-Off for Yeshiva Studies

03/24/2010

In a desperate move to reduce yeshiva tuitions, a blue-and-white ribbon panel has announced that all courses will be cut in half.

The new curriculum calls for studying the Five Commandments, the 306.5 mitzvot, the 2.5 Books of Moses and the 3 books of Mishnah.

Filming Of ‘Tefillin On A Plane’ Wraps Up On Schedule

02/26/2010

Afact-based action drama about the perils of in-flight davening has completed initial filming and is expected to be released in time for a Rosh Hashanah release.

“We had to finish this week,” said director Shelly Rosh. “We had a binding contract.” 

Completing the project was difficult as the crew encountered budget problems. “We were really strapped for cash,” said Rosh.

Food Bank Planned To Help Solve Crisis

04/12/2007
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — For a single day in mid-March, the parking lot at Hebrew Union College, the Reform movement’s Jerusalem campus, was packed with boxes, not cars, as more than a hundred young volunteers participated in the mitzvah of kamcha depascha, providing food for the needy on Passover.

Casting Off Tashlich

09/17/1999
Staff Writer
On Rosh HaShanah, Jews usually go to a nearby body of water for tashlich, turn to the heavens and symbolically cast away their sins. This year some Jews looked to the skies first and stayed home.

The Shoah Torah Scam?

Washington Post article questions the legitimacy
of a prominent rabbi who claims he’s rescued
Holocaust-affected scrolls.

01/28/2010
Staff Writer

Two years ago, philanthropist David Rubenstein offered to buy a Torah scroll for Manhattan’s Central Synagogue. The story of the scroll was as impressive as the object itself: Rabbi Menachem Youlus, a Maryland Torah scribe and Jewish bookstore owner, said he had discovered the sefer Torah in a cemetery in Oswiecim, the Polish town the occupying Germans called Auschwitz.

The scroll was dedicated in a gala ceremony at Central Synagogue on Yom HaShoah 2008. On Rosh HaShanah that year, Rabbi Peter Rubinstein repeated the Torah’s story of survival.

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Endings and Beginnings…

08/29/2008
Special to the Jewish Week

The imminent arrival of the Hebrew month of Elul is invariably a wake-up call to all of us.  Aside from the obvious- that Rosh Hashanah is four weeks away- there are also, of course, subliminal messages that come with a time of penitence and sober introspection.

We are in a time of endings, and of beginnings.

Breathing Pressurized Air

10/03/2008
Special to the Jewish Week

Being a congregational rabbi during the High Holidays is an experience in pressure unlike anything else that occurs during the course of a Jewish year. Jews you never knew were in your neighborhood (and some you did) seem to come out of the woodwork and find their way into synagogue services, sometimes changing the nature of the congregation entirely. Often, just to make their presence known, they decide that this might be the right time to get to know the rabbi.

Coming Around Again…the High Holidays Near

08/23/2009
Special to the Jewish Week

It’s just about at this time of year that I begin thinking in earnest of the topics that I want to address in my High Holiday sermons.  Some years ago, in a fit of preparedness, I wrote my sermons early in July, and then Yasser Arafat and Yitzchak Rabin shook hands on the South Lawn of the White House in August and ruined every rabbi’s already-written sermons for that year.  I’ve learned!

Anticipating Tishrei

09/03/2009
Special to the Jewish Week

It’s been so long since I celebrated the High Holidays as a layperson that I’ve almost forgotten what it felt like.  Truth to tell, I miss the chance to have those precious days be cathartic for me personally, as opposed to being focused on making them cathartic for others.  The pressure on rabbis and cantors to “be at their best” during this season is enormous, for all the obvious reasons.  As my nephew would say, “it is what it is.”

Sharing a Painful Message: Needed - Sane Voices for Israel

09/24/2009
Special to the Jewish Week

In lieu of a regular posting this week, I am sharing with you the message that I delivered in my own congregation in Forest Hills on the second day of Rosh Hashanah.

I do so because it speaks to a subject that I think needs to be on our communal agenda, and about which I feel passionately: how and about what we in the Jewish community disagree, and its implications for our relationship with the world as a whole, and particularly with Israel.

I wish you all a g’mar hatimah tovah…

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