High Holidays

Meet eScapegoat, The Atonement App

08/12/2013
Staff Writer
Story Includes Video: 
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No matter how knotty debates about privacy on the web get -- ahem, Facebook -- people who want to simultaneously keep their secrets and share them still feel safe on the internet. Take, for example, PostSecret.com, the website that displays artful postcards on which people have written their secrets.

He, or his avatar, will relieve you of the burden of sin. Fotolia

Holiday Preparations, Part II

Editor's Note: On July 5, the New Normal published Part I of this piece, which exhorts people with disabilities to take ownership of their High Holiday experience by discussing necessary accommodations in advance with their rabbi and synagogue staff. In Part II, Rabbi Michael Levy suggests specific questions people with disabilities might find useful to ask in the days leading up to Rosh Hashannah, which starts September 4.

An Important Turning Point

My parents, may they rest in peace, once did all my High Holiday planning. When I began exploring other synagogues, it became my rightful responsibility to arrange for Braille prayer books wherever I worshipped. This was, of course, essential when it was I who was leading the services. We must each consider our disability and plan accordingly.

Rabbi Michael Levy

Kafka for the Holidays?

Timing is everything: Given this year’s High Holy Days schedule, along with the renewed rush that arrives after Labor Day, coordinating a Sunday evening in September for our first synagogue Book Group meeting of the season proved more challenging than choosing what we would read, which we’d discussed before our summer break. Thus it happened that the only Sunday available was the one that fell between the Ten Days, after Rosh HaShanah and two evenings prior to Yom Kippur. Our reading selection: “Metamorphosis” and other stories by Franz Kafka.  

Kafka's Metamorphosis is surprisingly appropriate reading during the High Holiday season.

The AWEsome Act of Prayer

09/21/2012

Awe – a concept that is so hard to grasp. There are not many things that produce in us a pure sense of awe. If you are like me, you may use the word “Awesome” in your daily speech, but rarely with a true feeling of something being full of awe. Awe seems to contain within it something….majestic….holy….and even fearsome. I think the key to this season, and the place it holds in so many of our lives, lies in this word: Awe.

Rabbi Marci N. Bellows

Stay At Home Jews

09/20/2012

Elicia Brown, in her column in the Jewish Week (“Free Range Jew,” Sept. 14), recounts her adventures as she takes her family from synagogue to synagogue during the High Holy Days rather than commit to attending one synagogue and missing out on an adventure.

It Never Gets Old

09/13/2012

I was walking my dog late one night this week when I encountered a neighbor from down the block, past whose house my dog and I invariably pass on this evening ritual. As most people will say to me in one form or another at this time of year, my neighbor offered the following greeting: “So, you’re entering into your busy season, yes?  Must be a lot of pressure.”

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.

Sprucing Up For Yom Tov

09/11/2012
Staff Writer

For members of a synagogue, the preparation for the High Holy Days season starts weeks, if not months before Rosh HaShanah.

In some congregations, there are the daily selichot prayers that are recited during the month of Elul that precedes Tishrei, and additions to the daily worship services. There is increased giving of tzedakah and the performance of good deeds. For some, a new machzor; for others, a new outfit.

For rabbis, sermons to write.

For cantors and choirs, melodies to rehearse. For the synagogue itself, there’s also a period of preparation.

Photo By Michael Datikash

Repentance, Atonement And Independence

09/11/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 6:48 p.m.
Torah: Deut. 29:9-30:20
Haftarah: Isaiah 61:10-63:9
Havdalah: 7:45 p.m.

Rabbi David Kalb

A Year Later, Same Worries — Is That A Comfort?

09/04/2012
Editor And Publisher

Preparing for the new Jewish year, in part by reviewing some of the big news stories of the past year, I was reminded that most major issues don’t get resolved in dramatic fashion.

Gary Rosenblatt
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