Editor's Note: 5774 will be a special treat for online readers of "Sabbath Week." The Jewish Week is thrilled to bring our weekly Torah commentary together with artist Archie Rand's "Chapter Paintings:" one accompanies, illustrates and illuminates every Torah portion. The art will be available first on the Jewish Week's homepage slide carousel, and then on our Arts page carousel... that is, until the next week, when the next portion, painting and dvar Torah take their turn. Read more about the artist and his work here.
How do you create a viral Jewish acapella video? Video blogger Aaron Herman spoke with Mike Boxer of Six13 about their recent hit "Shana Tova (2013 Rosh Hashanah Jam)" and creating Jewish music videos.
I have always looked forward to attending synagogue services on Rosh Hashanah. Hearing the shofar often felt like a spiritual cleansing: a reminder that this was the time of year to think about your wrong doings and ask God for forgiveness.
With Rosh HaShanah in final days of primary race, some set politics aside.
Jewish Week Correspondent
Story Includes Video:
When the shofar sounded on Thursday and Friday, Scott Stringer wasn't out on the campaign trail tooting his own horn.
"That’s not a calculation,” explained the Manhattan borough president and comptroller hopeful before the holiday. “That’s a time I’m going to spend with my wife and my two kids, and it’s a great time.”
Have you ever seen a straight Shofar? There’s a reason why; according to Jewish law, a Shofar must be crooked. In the first chapter of his Laws of Shofar, Sukkah, and Lulav, Maimonides writes: “the Shofar that is blown…is the crooked (twisted, bent over) ram’s horn.” What is the symbolism of blowing a crooked Shofar? The Talmud, in tractate Rosh Hashanah 26b, connects the bent shape of the Shofar to the bending will of each human, the humble acknowledgement that our desires alone do not dictate the future.
For the first time in 115 years, Rosh HaShanah occurs just after Labor Day and coincides with the beginning of school for children and teachers in many states across the country. While Rosh Hashanah is always a time for reflection, this Jewish New Year provides us with a unique opportunity.
Jewish rapper Ari Lesser urges us to "learn lots of Torah, make tons of money with a year that's sweeter than Apples and honey." But also to "give all the chairty you can spare and show the poor people how much you care."
I’ve always loved the story in First Kings about Elijah and his triumph over the priests of Baal. Like so much of the literature of the Early Prophets, this episode reads like an action adventure novel. The Israelite prophets waged a long and taxing battle against the powerful allure of the indigenous Canaanite cultic life that the Israelites discovered when they conquered the land. Elijah’s victory was a great moment in that struggle.
Spiritually, the appearance of God to Elijah in a kol d’mammah dakkah– a still, small voice– is particularly rich. After all the sturm und drang of the story itself, the fact that God’s “voice,” as it were, became audible to Elijah is the quietest of ways, as opposed to via the loudness of the natural events that preceded the revelation, has always been meaningful to me. God is in the quiet as much as the noise… maybe more.
At the opening of the Book of Samuel, in a story we retell each Rosh Hashanah, we are introduced to Hannah, a woman distressed for the child she yearns to raise, but cannot conceive. The Book of Genesis recounts yet another story we read on Rosh Hashanah, the story of Hagar, a mother who, unable to stay with her son and watch him wither away to death from lack of water, can do nothing more than walk away from him and weep.