Rosh Hashanah

A Rosh HaShanah Rap

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."

Shutting Out The Noise: The Quiet Work Of Repentance

08/29/2013 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

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.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

The Shofar Reminds Us To Listen For Unheard Cries

08/27/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

There are no tears like a mother's tears.

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.

Rori PIcker Neiss

New Riffs On The New Year

As worshipers demand fresh approaches, more congregations are improvising and experimenting with High Holiday services.
08/26/2013 - 20:00
Staff Writer

One night a year ago Jamie Schorr, a jazz devotee, and his wife descended a staircase to a basement club in the West Village. The couple stepped inside the low-ceilinged room, took a seat at one of the benches arranged around the dimly lit room and noticed a drummer, pianist and bass player onstage.

Rabbi Steven Blane, left, marks the High Holy Days with a jazz service sponsored by his Sim Shalom synagogue.

Seven Lessons Of 5773

The old saying about the holidays always coming early or late isn't quite true.
08/26/2013 - 20:00
Editor And Publisher

On the cusp of a new Jewish year, here are a few things I absorbed during the one drawing to a close:

The old saying about the Jewish holidays always coming early or late isn’t quite true.

Gary Rosenblatt

This Rosh HaShanah, Return To Sender

The holiday invites us back to the beginning, and to our best selves.
08/26/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week


Have you ever gotten a piece of mail back from the post office — one stamped with that funny-looking hand, and bearing the words “Return to Sender”? Well, I recently did, and as I began to think about both those words, and the pointing hand that accompanied them, I began to think about how appropriate it was to get that message as Rosh HaShanah was fast approaching.

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

Schmoozing With The Challah Fairy

Chanalee Fischer, aka the "Challah Fairy," is busy at her bakery in preparation for Rosh Hashanah.

08/21/2013 - 20:00
Food & Wine Editor

Meet Chanalee Fischer, aka the "Challah Fairy." Maybe you’ve seen her challahs at Seasons, or at Prime Butcher Baker, or even visited her café in New City, New York. Fischer started baking challahs out of her home when her children were young, delivering them to her neighbor’s mailboxes on Friday afternoons. That’s how she got her title, the Challah Fairy. When her kids got a little older, she decided to turn her knack for kneading into a business. She's playful when it comes to inventing new flavors for her challahs. Her oreo challah is a best-seller, and around Thanksgiving people eagerly await her apple-cranberry challah. Her plain, poppy, sesame and crumb ones are always for sale. In the weeks leading up to Rosh Hashanah Fischer is busier than ever baking challahs and taking orders. Fortunately, she made some time to schmooze about non-challah related things, like why froyo is overrated and her signature omelet trick.

The Challah Fairy. Photo courtesy Chanalee Fischer

Fairway And The KOF-K

Prepared holiday meals available at all 13 Fairways this year.
08/14/2013 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Fairway Market, the grocery store giant known for kosher products like European house-brand olive oil, is making its prepared holiday meals available in many more of its stores this year – all 13 of them.

Customers at the Upper West Side store will be able to buy prepared kosher holiday meals this year. Photo courtesy Fairway

Learning Gratitude In Graduate School

Last month, hundreds, upon thousands, upon millions of students went back to school.  Although not quite as adorably as my 5th grade neighbor decked out in her first-day-of-school finest, I, too, returned to the world of academia. Starting my second year of graduate school, I was not even a little surprised when on the first day of classes, my peers and I couldn’t even get through the first class without bitching.

Why is it so hard to feel grateful for our blessings? Wikimedia Commons
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