To understand the Tishrai Holidays we need to have a brief understanding of the meaning of Tishrai. Please note that a Yood at the end of a word translates as the personal pronoun "my." The other three letters are in the reverse order of the Alef Bet which indicates a state of judgment or limitation. These three letters in that order translates as "give a present." The month of Tishrai is "my present." Who is the giver? Who is the receiver? The giver can be none other than the Creator. Tishrai is HaShem's Present to Mankind. What is the actual present will be discussed below.
There are 23 days of Chagim during Tishrai in the Diaspora and 22 days of Chagim during Tishrai in Israel. Each Holiday has its own ritual which will be discussed below. This leads to some specific questions. Why so many days of Holidays? How can someone take so many days off of his normal work? What is all of these different Holidays and what purpose to they serve?
Part of preparing for Rosh HaShana and the Tishrai Holidays is discussing the new year. Here is a teaching from the Chabad Rebbe about time for the new year.
Time is not a train of cars hitched one to another, one year dragged along by the year preceding, the present hitched tightly to the past, the future enslaved to the present. Rather, every year arrives fresh from its Creator, a year that never was before and could never have been known before its arrival.
That is why we call Rosh Hashanah “the birthday of the world” in our prayers. The past has returned to its place, never to return. With the blowing of the shofar, the entirety of Creation is renewed. From this point on, even the past exists only by virtue of the present.
To answer these questions, and others we need to begin with certain rituals towards the end of Elul.
Rosh Chodesh Tishrai is actually the Birthday of the Creation of Adam HaRishon, the first Adam. This makes the 25th of Elul the Birthday of the Creation of the physical world. It is recommended to light a candle to connect to that event, which this year begins Wednesday evening, September 1 2021.
There is also a recommended ritual to connect to the 8 Kings of Edom 8 days prior to the 25th of Elul. This year that happens on Tuesday night of August 24--September 2 2021.
To get these verses using the Yeshshem biblical inquiry webpage you need to put in 3 pieces of information. The name of the Book which this time is the default of Beraisheet. For any other biblical book click on the drop down list. Next you need to specify the chapter which in this case is 36. You can give a range of chapters using a hyphen between the first and last one. The third piece of information is the verse numbers which in this case is 31-43. Some people read one King per day starting on the 17th of Elul (this year begins the evening of Tuesday, August 24 2021--Sunday September 5 2021).
There is a procedure to remove vows prior to sundown on the evening of Rosh Hashanah. This procedure called Hatarat Nedarim takes a community of a Bet Din of at least 3 adults.acting as judges to absolve you of all of your vows. This is a very highly recommended ritual.. This ritual takes place anytime from Sunrise on September 6th 2021 until sundown on September 6th 2021. It is usually available in orthodox synagogues during that day.
The reason that this ritual is needed is that when we make a vow we receive the energy to perform that vow. If we do not do the vow that energy becomes the chaotic energy waiting for us. It is the only way for that energy/light to return to its home is to be absolved by this procedure or to manifest as chaos in the life of the maker of the vow. This is how we balance the universe. When the vow is absolved the light to be used for that vow returns to the place whence it came. That balances the universe as well. As will become clear further down this page leaving this light in the vessel of a vow makes it more difficult for the Shofar blasts to eliminate this negative aspect of an unfulfilled vow. That is why it is a highly recommended ritual.
If this ritual is not available to you in your synagogue please feel free to call me and i will arrange for a Bet Din to accomplish the removal of the vows. You can also start this ritual in your synagogue and i am available to assist you in what ever way i can.
There is also a one page modified statement that allows one to remove any vows that they might have made during a week from Motzei Shabbat until the next Shabbat. This is done on Friday morning of each week. Let me know if you would like any information about this ritual. This is also recommended.
Here is a Parable written by Rabbi Avroham M Alter - A Rabbi working in Kiruv - Outreach.
This Parable explains the reason within the 23 days and the reason within our lives.
“Behold, I set before you today, a blessing and a curse” God announces to the Jewish people in Deuteronomy (11:26).
So where is the blessing already? Why does it so often seem to be the opposite? Challenges, trials, tribulations, anxiety and yes…pain and suffering! The answer perhaps is that we need to readjust our perspective--to gaze anew, from a fresh viewpoint, that which He bestows upon us--to trust, to understand, and YES, to KNOW, that all that He bequeaths (no matter how it feels) is ultimately for our good, even when we search for understanding!
Perhaps the following story will help us better understand:
There was a couple who used to go to England to shop in the beautiful stores. They both liked antiques and pottery and especially teacups. This was their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.
One day in this charming little shop they saw a lovely teacup. “May we see that?” they asked, “We’ve never seen one quite so beautiful.” As the lady handed the cup to them, it suddenly began to speak. “You don’t understand,” the teacup said. “I haven’t always been a teacup. There was a time when I was red, and I was clay. My master took me, rolled me, and patted me over and over. I yelled out, ‘Let me alone!’ But he only smiled. ‘Not yet,’ he said.
“Then I was placed on a spinning wheel,” the teacup continued, “and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. ‘Stop it! I’m getting dizzy!’ I screamed. But the master only nodded and said again, ‘Not yet.’ “Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I wondered why he wanted to burn me. I yelled and knocked at the door. I could see him through the opening and could read his lips as he shook his head saying, ‘Not yet.’
“Finally the door opened. He put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. ‘There, that’s better,’ I said. Then he brushed me and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would choke. ‘Stop it, stop it!’ I cried, but he only nodded and said, ‘Not yet.’
“Then suddenly he put me back into the oven. This time, however, it was twice as hot, and I was sure I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. All the time I could see him through the opening, nodding his head saying, ‘Not yet.’
At this point I knew there wasn’t any hope. I would never make it. I was ready to give up. Then, at the last moment, the door opened, he took me out and placed me on the shelf. An hour later he handed me a mirror. I couldn’t believe it was me. ‘It’s beautiful. I’m beautiful.’ “’I want you to remember, then,’ he said, ‘I know it hurts to be rolled and patted, but if I had left you alone, you would have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but had I stopped, you would have crumbled. I knew it hurt and was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn’t put you there, you would have cracked. I know the fumes were horrible when I painted you all over, but if I hadn’t done that, you would have never hardened. You would not have had any color in your life. And if I hadn’t put you back in that second oven, you wouldn’t have survived for very long. You wouldn’t have been sufficiently durable. “Now you are a finished product. You are what I had in mind when I first began with you.”
The moral of this story: God knows what He’s doing for all of us. He is the potter, and we are His clay. He will mold us and shape us, so that we may be fashioned into a flawless object, so we can fulfill His perfect will. Being God’s vessel is ultimately the best, most perfect blessing for us all!
Learn from what happens during this coming year that the world is perfect. Just as the cup needed to go through various processes, SO DO WE! Just as the cup did not see its end result, neither do we. Trust HaShem that he does not plan to put us on a shelf someplace to "look" pretty. Whatever the plan it is for our best and the process we experience is also for our best. That is why our Sages teach this spiritual truth. This world is perfect and this time is perfect and so will be become perfect. So Create Your World this next Year Perfect so that you can be closer to the Creator.
The evening of Aleph Tishrai, every person runs out of last year's energy. The Kabbalists call this Dormita which means sleep. In these 22 days each of us is given a new process for the new year. That is actually what the idea of Yom HaDin - Day of Judgment is all about. The first 10 days of Tishrai is the building of the desire to receive for the year. The first 2 days which the Talmud calls 1 long day is the Keter and Yom Kippur is the Malchut. During the Keter a court is held that is based on love. What is the best motivation for this soul to become the most that it can be during this year?
The next 12 days is the creation of the light for the year. Remember the light is the fulfillment for the desire. That is why the left column - the desire is built first. Because we can change the desire during the Keter period through our consciousness the light can not be built first. Normally Light is cause. Here our soul is the cause.
The 23rd day in the Diaspora and the 22nd day in Israel is the central column of this year for each person. This is also considered the total of the surrounding light which is the POTENTIAL SPIRITUAL WORK for the year.
One final thought about the consciousness one should have during this Keter period. WHAT KIND OF WORLD DO YOU WANT TO LIVE IN? Is the society that you live in based on the maximum that each person can become? Is it a society based on equality? Hierarchy like the Torah? Or a mixture like the Torah? How about your home life? Is it based on peace in the house? Or the need for financial safety?
The Tishrai Holidays are the following:
First is Rosh Hashanah. This holiday is actually two days called 1 long day by the Talmud. This is to explain that the energy of the two days is essentially the same. Day 1 is a more intense energy called harsh judgment and Day 2 is a lesser energy called mild judgment. The energy is called judgment and the usual explanation is that HaShem sits on his throne of judgment. This is totally false. There is a court but it is the court of cause and effect.
Each negative action appears and testifies to the truth of the negativity involved. The Satan reviews its notes and since the Shofar has blown up the actual bombs the notes disappear as well. So there are no negative aspects to come against that person this coming year.
This occurs for those humans who hear and know the Shofar. For those who hear it but do not know the Shofar a lesser effect takes place even as much as the same as someone who does not know and does not hear the Shofar. For these people the Satan recommends a plan to motivate that person to become the most that they can be based on strict cause and effect for all negative and positive actions.
Actually Rosh Hashanah is the seed of the next 12 months.] If we utilize the rituals properly and know the blowing of the Shofar we remove all aspects of negativity from our life and become a totally new person.
One of the metaphors the Kabbalists use to help us understand this process is called dormita. This means sleep. We go to sleep on Rosh Hashanah evening and become reborn during the night. Then we grow from birth to maturity through the 23 days.
The Themes of Rosh Hashanah
The Amidah of Mussaf, the silent prayer of the additional service that follows the Torah reading, emphasizes the three main themes of Rosh Hashanah: Kingship, Remembrance and Shofar. We have discussed Shofar briefly and we will do a little more today.
The blessing of “Kingship” is introduced with Aleinu, a prayer that is actually recited at the conclusion of every daily prayer service. Aleinu perfectly summarizes what “Kingship” is all about. It begins with:
“It is our obligation to praise the Master of all, to ascribe greatness to the Creator of the beginning...But we bend our knees, bow and acknowledge our thanks before the King who reigns over kings...” Beyond acknowledging that God is the King of Kings, Aleinu asserts the importance of the Jewish nation recognizing not only His sovereignty over them, but their need to place their trust in Him.
The above is the general religious explanation. The Kabbalists explain that Kingship refers to the Sefirah of Keter and also to Malchut. In essence the End is in the Beginning and the Beginning is in the End. By connecting to HaShem and Kingship we bring the energy of the cycle of life along with HaShem's Mercy.
“Remembrance” reminds us that today is the Day of Judgment and that on this day God is judging every person’s actions and weighing each person’s future. The prayers for “Remembrance” focus on God’s ability to truly remember, to look at the life of a person or a nation, and to understand all the motivations and thoughts that led a person to his/her decisions and to justly reward or punish them for their actions. In other words, nothing gets past God!
The above is the general religious explanation. The Kabbalists explain the Hebrew word for remember is Zachor. This word permutes to Raz Caf Vav. Raz means secret. We are connecting to the Secret of the 26 which is HaShem's Mercy so that we have a sweetened cause and effect instead of strict judgment.
“Shofar” is a description of the glorious scene on Mount Sinai on the day God gave the Torah, when “the sound of the shofar became increasingly strong, Moses would speak and God would respond with a voice.” And it is said, “And the entire people ‘saw’ the sounds and the flames and the sound of the shofar and the smoking mountain, and the people saw and trembled and stood from afar” (Exodus 19:19, 20:15). The section of the “Shofar” concludes with a blessing that beseeches God to both sound the great blast of the shofar that will announce the final redemption, and to hear the sound of the shofar blown by the Children of Israel on this Rosh Hashanah.
No prayer so thoroughly captures the Jewish people’s dual relationship with God as Avinu Malkeinu, “Our Father, Our King.” The formula of this prayer, which has been expanded throughout the centuries to include a total of 44 verses, is based on the prayer that Rabbi Akiva, one of the greatest Talmudic sages, recited during a drought. After the community’s prayers had brought no relief, Rabbi Akiva called out to God, “Our Father, Our King, we have no king but You. Our Father, Our King, for Your sake have mercy upon us!” The rains immediately began to fall. By addressing God as both Father and King, we are directing our prayers through two different venues. From a father, one expects mercy, love and forgiveness. A father looks at his child and sees only that child, that special individual, his own flesh and blood, and instinctively feels mercy for the child. Certainly we wish to address our petitions to God’s aspect of mercy on the Day of Judgment.
On the other hand, a king controls the fate of his subjects. He rules with judgment and justice. Therefore, we must also address our prayers to this aspect of God during Rosh Hashanah (and through Yom Kippur). After all, this is the time that God sits with His books of judgment open before Him. By referring to God as our “King,” we remind ourselves that while He loves us as a father, we must also be in awe of His greatness.
The Kabbalists explain that the 44 verses bring the power of the 22 Letters of the Alef Bet in the two aspects of Direct Light and Returning Light.
Here is an essay from one of my teachers that explains the Avinu Malkeynu prayer in a deep Kabbalistic way. I hope you enjoy it and utilize it as much as i have and do.
During these days of Teshuvah we have a special addition to our daily prayers entitled Avinu Malkeynu (our Father, our King). These words introduce a number of requests that HaShem should forgive our sins, bless us with a good New Year and many more.
The question to ask is why is HaShem referred to both as our Father and our King. Why not just refer to Him as either one or another?
A simple answer can be that, as we know, HaShem acts towards us as both a loving Father and as a stern King, which ever we merit. Being that we do not know our merit before HaShem, it is wise for us to refer to Him by both titles.
While this answer is true, from the pshat (simplistic) point of view, the secrets of the Kabbalah reveal to us a more profound reason, one that has much personal relevance to how our prayers are heard and answered. To understand the Kabbalah of Avinu Malkeynu, let us turn to a small prayer in Rosh HaShana Musaf entitled the HaYom Harat Olam and to its Kabbalistic meaning.
After the blowing of the Shofar in the Rosh HaShana Musaf prayers, we recite the following short prayer:
“Today is the birth of the world, today He [HaShem] stands up to judge all the creatures of the world. We are before You either like children or like servants. If we are like children, be merciful to us as a father is to his children. If we are as servants, then we raise our eyes and depend upon You until You will favor us and bring our judgment into light.”
In the Kabbalistic Siddur Rashash, the following comments are added to the above prayer.
“We are before you like children” – these are they who merit a NaRaN (soul) from the realm of Atzilut. They are the children of ZA and NOK.”
“Or like servants” – these have a NaRaN (soul) from the realms of BeY‟A (Beriah, Yetzirah, Asiyah) and are called slave, servant and handmaiden.”
As we see, those called “children” have souls that emanate from a higher source than those called “servants.” The explanation of this is as follows.
Due to the sin of Adam (and our own) the souls of collective Israel fell from their original celestial heights in the spiritual realm known as Atzilut. Atzilut is the realm of pure holiness. Souls emanating from this level are in a constant state of union with HaShem. Such souls are thus called HaShem‟s children. The Kabbalistic appellation of ZA and NOK is used to express the unification of the Sefirot Tiferet and Malkhut. Atzilutic souls emanate from this source.
Although Adamic souls have fallen from the Atzilutic heights, HaShem in His mercy has provided for us His Holy Torah, the observance of the mitzvot therein serves to purify our souls and enables them to be restored to their Atzilutic heights.
However, our souls go through a long and arduous process along the path of return to HaShem. We compound the fall of Adam with our own sins, entrapping our souls in the lower worlds that include within them various levels of evil, contamination, and defilement. These lower worlds are called BeY‟A (Beriah, the realm of thought; Yetzirah, the realm of emotion and Asiyah, the realm of the physical). Whenever we sin in thought, word, feelings, or deeds, our souls become ensnared in these lower worlds and the forces of evil present within them.
Impure souls cannot be called “children” because they do not possess the purity of the sefirotic “parents” Tiferet (ZA) and Malkhut (NOK). Those souls still going through the process of purification are referred to as “servants” and not “children.”
It must be remembered that souls themselves are composite entities consisting of five general parts (nefesh, ruah, neshama, chaya, and yehida). In addition each of these five levels are utilized within each of the 613 parts of the body. Each of these in turn can reincarnate separately from the others and rectify at its own pace and speed.
Therefore, each and every human soul has within it elements of differing levels of rectification and purity. Each of us might have within us an element that indeed has succeeded to return to the Atzilutic heights, all the while the other elements of our composite soul struggle to be free from our earthly containment and contamination.
On Rosh HaShanah we are each judged as individuals. Yet, each of us is still a composite being and HaShem judges each and every element within our souls individually. This means that each person is judged by the potential of over 3000 components.
Therefore, during these days of Teshuva (return to HaShem), we approach Him in the spirit of utmost honesty and spiritual truth. There is that element within our composite soul that shines the light of Atzilut within us. This level of our souls is referred to as the “children” of HaShem. Corresponding to this level of soul, we can call HaShem “Avinu” (our Father).
Yet with regards to the still impure attributes of soul within us, these are still ensnared in the lower worlds that possess both good and evil. Such souls and those attributes within each individual soul are called a “servant.” Corresponding to this we call HaShem “Malkeynu” (our King).
HaShem behaves as a merciful Father to those with purified souls and He acts as a stern King to those with impure souls. Children receive His full grace. Servants are treated in according to their merits. Each of us has within our souls Atzilutic and non-Atzilutic elements. Thus when HaShem comes to interact with us, He acts in relationship to the exact levels of balance within our individual souls.
The more we shine His pure and holy Light, the more we are His “children,” thus the more we receive His mercy. The more we shine our own light and serve our selves, continuing in the path of our faulty beliefs, feelings and deeds, we are called “servants.” Thus the amount of mercy show is less and the amount of stern judgment shown is more.
Avinu Malkeynu is written for us to remind us of our composite spiritual makeup. With every supplication to HaShem, with every recital of the words Avinu Malkeynu, we remind ourselves that there is definitely much good within us.
We have within us the element that makes us worthy to be called a “child” worthy to call HaShem Avinu (our Father). Whereas at the same time there is still impurity within us that necessitates that we call ourselves “servants” and thus entitle us only to call HaShem Malkeynu (our King). We should be proud every time we can call HaShem Avinu and we should be humbled every time we are required to call HaShem Malkeynu. Yet, in both attributes we must surrender ourselves to the Divine service and Heavenly cause. In this way we elevate that element of “servant” within us and transform it into the “child.” In this way, we solicit HaShem‟s blessing for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in this coming New Year.
May HaShem bless us all that we rise from being servants and all become worthy children of our Father in Heaven. May we all be inscribed in the Book of Life, for only good things and for all good things. Let us all say Amen.
1. Rosh Hashana Day 1 this year starts Monday Evening September 6 2021.
2. Rosh Hashana Day 2 this year is Tuesday Evening September 7 2021.
Tashlichis usually performed the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah. The Kabbalists perform it on Hoshana Rabah. This is because Tashlich is a prayer and the best time to pray and to do Tashlich is Saturday afternoon. Of course Tashlich is usually done over moving water. If this type of water is not available within the walking limits of Shabbat then one can not do Tashlich on Shabbat according to the Halacha. The next best time to pray is a Holiday afternoon. That is why the Kabbalists delay Tashlich until Hoshana Rabah and do this over the waters of the Mikvah since they are living waters. See more on Tashlich below.
Special Foods for Rosh Hashanah
Kiddush, sanctification, is the recitation pronounced over wine and/or grape juice through which Jews proclaim the uniqueness of the holidays and Shabbat. The formula on the eve of a holiday is composed of two blessings: one over the wine and the other over the holiness of the day.
Following Kiddush, the blessing over bread is recited over two round challahs. The round shape, which is distinct for the holiday as opposed to the traditional braided challah of Shabbat, is symbolic on several levels. First, the round shape represents the circle of life, which is apropos for the Day of Judgment. Additionally, the circle recalls the cycle of the year, since one year moves immediately into the next. Finally, the round challahs are considered symbolic of royalty, reminding one of a crown.
The Kabbalists suggest that the round challot be used through the 23 days of Tishrai Holidays.
Just as it is common to wish our friends, family and neighbors “L’shana tova u’metuka” (May you have a good and sweet year), so too, the challahs served on Rosh Hashanah are often made with additional honey or sugar to make them sweeter. Raisins are often added as well. To be sure of this sweet year the Kabbalists suggest that honey be added to the first bite of Challot. This custom is suggested to be continued through the 23 days.
One of the best known and most enjoyable customs of Rosh Hashanah is the addition of symbolic foods at the beginning of the evening meal. This custom is recorded in the Talmud: “Said Abaye: Since you hold that symbols are meaningful, every man should make it a habit on Rosh Hashanah to eat pumpkin, fenugreek, leek, beet and dates” (Kritot 6a).
While these foods are noted as being connected to fertility, abundance and quick growth, they are also words with double meanings, for instance, the Hebrew word for dates is t’marim, which is related to the Hebrew word la’toom, meaning “to consume.” Because Rosh Hashanah is the Day of Judgment for all nations, the sages interpreted their inclusion on the Rosh Hashanah menu as a means of asking HaShem to increase the Desire to Receive of each person and each Nation during this period. The Greater the Desire to Receive the Greater the Revelation of HaShem in the physical world.
Here are some suggestions for these special foods that come from various Minhagim.
APPLES AND HONEY
A slice of apple is dipped in honey, and the blessing for the fruit of the tree is recited:
Baruch Ah’tah Ah’doh’nai, Eh’lo’hay’nu Melech Ha’olam, bo’ray p’ree ha’etz.
Don't Forget the Kavenah you have learned for all the Blessings in our Prayer Class.
Blessed are You Lord, our God, Ruler of the world, Creator of the fruit of the tree.
Take a bite and then recite the following brief prayer:
“May it be Your will, Lord, our God and the God of our forefathers, that You renew for us a good and sweet year.”
T’marim--from the word la’toom, “to consume.”
“May it be Your will, Lord, our God and the God of our forefathers, that our enemies be consumed.”
Some people eat the date first because it is one of the fruits for which the Land of Israel is known.
Kara--from the word likroah, “to tear.”
“May it be Your will, Lord, our God and the God of our forefathers, that the decree of our sentence be torn asunder; and may our merits be proclaimed before You.”
Rubia--from the word l’harboht, “to increase.”
See Carrots for the special Connection.
Merrin--from the Yiddish word “more”
“May it be Your will, Lord, our God and the God of our forefathers, that our merits increase.”
It is said that each pomegranate has 613 seeds, representing the 613 Mitzvot of the Torah.
“May it be Your will, Lord, our God and the God of our forefathers, that our merits be as plentiful as the seeds of a pomegranate.”
HEAD OF A SHEEP/FISH
Some have a custom to have the head of a sheep or a fish on the table and to say:
“May it be Your will, Lord, our God and the God of our forefathers, that we be as the head and not as the tail.”
A fish is considered to be a symbol of fertility and blessing.
“May it be Your will, Lord, our God and the God of our forefathers, that we be fruitful and multiply like fish.”
On Rosh Hashana, nuts are not eaten since the numeric value of the word for nut, egoz, is equivalent to the numeric value for the word for sin, cheit.
THE TEN DAYS OF REPENTANCE
On Rosh Hashana, God judges the world (and all the people in the world), but their fates are not sealed until ten days later, on Yom Kippur. It is during these ten days that we must present a compelling case of our worthiness to the heavenly court.
These ten days that start on Rosh Hashanah and conclude on Yom Kippur are known as the Aseret Y’mei Teshuvah, Ten Days of Repentance. During this time, people make a special effort to make amends both with their fellow humans and with God.
Jewish tradition teaches that there are three critical tools to make our appeal successful: Teshuvah, 'Tefila, U’Tzedaka (Repentance, Prayer and Charity).
Teshuvah, repentance, is the major focus of the High Holiday season both before and after Rosh Hashanah. During the Ten Days of Repentance, it is customary to scrutinize one’s actions and to review the process of teshuvah that was begun during Elul, the month preceding Rosh Hashanah. Many people make extra efforts at self-improvement during the Ten Days.
Tefilah, prayer, is always an important element in Jewish life, but there is no time in the Jewish calendar that God is more “available” than during the beginning days of Tishrei. Jewish prayer is a complex, multi-layered activity. The sages refer to prayer as avodah, service, the same term used to describe the sacrificial service in the Holy Temple. However, since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E., prayer has become our primary means of “connecting” with God.
But avodah also means work--giving something of ourselves to God. But what benefit could God derive from our prayers? How do our prayers serve the Divine? The Hebrew word l’hitpallel means to pray. The root of this Hebrew word, pallel, actually means to judge, clarify, differentiate or decide. In the reflexive form of the word--l’hitpallel, the subject acts upon him/herself. Prayer, therefore, is about self-definition and establishing some level of personal inner clarity. During prayer, one is able to clarify his/her relationship with God and with the world, thus opening a clearer channel of communication with the Divine.
Tzedakah, charity, is an additional method one may use to seek to revise or void a negative verdict. Isn’t that bribing God? No. The lifelong goal of the human being is to move closer to God. While Judaism has mandated laws about giving charity, these laws are meant to develop a person’s sensitivity to those in need. During the Ten Days, when we seek to show God that we have grown and are striving to be better, giving charity fortifies our fundamental giving instinct. Rather than bribing God, we are actively reminding ourselves of the direction in which we should be moving. Getting Closer to HaShem.
The next 7 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the first days of this year. No matter what day of the week it starts there is only one of these days between the two Holidays. The Kabbalists teach us that whatever actions we do on these days will be mirrored on every one of the same day of the week throughout the year. This means that the actions we do on the third through ninth of Tishrai will be reflected throughout the year on that same day of the week in each and every week.
The Sages suggest that we increase our Torah Study; Zohar Study; Tzedakah and Terumah; as well as any Good Deed we can find to do during this period. It is also called the Days of Awe as it is the last opportunity for us to finish our Teshuvah.
Here are some suggestions for increased spiritual benefit during the Days of Awe:
Add / Increase Terumah and especially Tzedakah It is customary to tithe 10% of our income during the year. Many people review this and give additional amounts to reach the level of 10%.
Tzedakah is given in addition to the tithing amount. The Prophet Jeremiah teaches us that the giving of Tzedakah saves one from death. He also teaches that Tzedakah is only given to a Truly Poor Person. A Truly Poor Person knows that HaShem will provide for him. He Truly does not care if YOU are the one to be a channel from HaShem for this providing for him or not. How does one know who is a truly poor person? A TPP never asks for a specific amount is one way to know. A TPP never looks at the amount that one puts into their hands. A TPP knows that they are acting as a tool of the Creator when they solicit you for a donation. Jeremiah and his generation did not merit to find a TPP, you can find a TPP.
Here are some suggestions for people to practice that will maximize their spiritual benefit from both tithing and Tzedakah:
Some suggestions that will enhance your spiritual benefit from your Tithing and Tzedakah.
The more often one gives the greater spiritual benefit. This means that if one plans to give 100 dollars. It is better to write 10 ten dollar checks than to write 1 check for 100 dollars.
Large charity organizations exist to solicit Tithing and not Tzedakah.
As suggested, during the Days of Awe it is best to give donations each day and double your normal donation during these days. When your tithing rises to a level that is uncomfortable it is considered Tzedakah.
When someone tithes to a Torah Scholar one receives a share in the Torah that the Scholar studies when he uses your funds to support his living in this physical world. When you support someone who teaches Torah to other people a portion of what they learn of Torah returns to the Teacher and ultimately to the person who supports that teacher.
When one makes a pledge for a monthly donation, spiritually, that pledge is credited to the date that the pledge is made. Therefore, making an annual pledge to be paid monthly (like one can do in Paypal) during the Days of Awe will find that the whole annual amount is credited to the period of the Days of Awe and one will find the spiritual benefit enhanced by the pledge being within the Keter of their year.
Here are some organizations and Torah Teachers that, in my opinion, are TPP and it would be good to Tithe to them and perhaps you will find them to be a TPP for you.
3. Day 3 this year is Wednesday Evening September 8 2019. (The Fast of Gedalia falls on Thursday in 2021).
4. Day 4 this year is Thursday Evening September 9 2021.
5. Day 5 this year is Friday Evening September 10 2021.
6. Day 6 this year is Saturday Evening September 11 2021.
7. Day 7 this year is Sunday Evening September 12 2021.
8. Day 8 this year is Monday Evening September 13 2021.
9. Day 9 this year is Tuesday EveningSeptember 14 2021.
Remember these 7 days are the first of each day of the week in this year of 5782. Whatever events, emotions, actions, and other items that occur on these days will impact each of those days of the weeks through out the year. That is why it is recommended that one do additional mitzvot and other good deeds on these days. It is also very important to remain cool and not allow anything to upset you during these days for the same reasons.
Tashlich Ritual by Rabbi Bar Tzadok
I have decided to put the Tashlich ritual explanation in this location even though it is recommended to do it on Shabbat Afternoon if possible (not Yom Kippur) or Hoshana Rabah as the last possible moment.
Rabbi Chaim Vital mentions the minhag of tashlikh in his Sha'ar HaKavanot (90b). Summarizing the view of his teacher, the Ari'zal, Rabbi Haim writes: “the matter of the minhag that the Ashkenazim observe on the first day of Rosh HaShana. A short time after the Mincha prayers yet before sundown [they go] by the great sea or by a well or spring of moving water. There they read tashlikh. This is a good minhag. It is best if this is done outside the city. One stands by the water, the well, or the spring and reads there the three verses, "Mi Kel Kamokha” (Micah 7:18-20).
Please note that these verses are the 13 Attributes of Mercy for Arich Anpin
Today there are numerous bodies of water within city limits and close to Jewish communities. Not many people have to travel too far to be at a lakeside, pond, pool, or similar body of water. While it is best to recite tashlikh over a natural body of water, with fish in it if possible, there are no laws to require this. In an absence of any body of water, one may simply fill a bucket of water and recite tashlikh over it. (I have seen a bucket of water filled with a hose used in places in Eretz Yisrael too far removed from any natural body of water).
More than just the recital of Micah 7:18-20, the tashlikh service today has been expanded to include sections from the Zohar, numerous prayers and for those so inclined, mystical kavanot/meditations (ref. Pituhei Hotam 10-12, in Even HaShoham 583, page 121). When reciting the three verses one shakes out one's outer garment, symbolically fulfilling the verse in Micah 7:9 of casting “one's sins into the depths of the sea” (ref. Even HaShoham 3, O.H. 583:11, in the name of the Pri Etz Haim 142b).
Normally the prayers and sections of the Zohar read for tashlikh are too long to be memorized. Therefore, one usually carries a Rosh HaShana Mahzor (prayerbook) to the tashlikh site. This creates a problem when Rosh HaShana falls on Shabbat and the place of tashlikh is outside the eruv, or there is not an eruv at all. Due to the concern of a possible violation of Torah law by carrying an article (the Mahzor) in a public domain, many Rabbis have stated that when the first day of Rosh HaShana falls on a Shabbat, tashlikh should be postponed to the second day. (Ref. Kaf HaHaim 583:31, in the name of the Kitzur Sh'lah and the Mishneh Berurah 583:8 in the name of the Pri Megadim).
Rabbi David Yosef, the son of HaRav Ovadiah Yosef addresses this issue in his Torat HaMoadim on the Yamim HaNoraim (3:20). “When [day one of] Rosh HaShanah falls on Shabbat, if there is eruv in town, or the place of saying the order of tashlikh is outside the eruv boundaries, one should refrain from saying the order of tashlikh on Shabbat. [This is] so that the public will not stumble by carrying Mahzors from a private domain into a public domain. That year tashlikh should be recited on the second day of Rosh HaShanah. If the recitation of the order of tashlikh is performed within the boundaries of the eruv tashlikh can be recited even on Shabbat. Even those who makhmir (follow stricter opinions) not to rely on the eruv and do not carry anything in the public domain on Shabat (even with an eruv) are still able to recite the order of tashlikh on Shabbat. They can hand the Mahzors to children below the age of observing the mitzvot to carry for them.
There are those who always postpone reciting the order of tashlikh to the second day when the first day of Rosh HaShanah falls on Shabbat. If there is an eruv in a place it is always more correct to recite it on day one of Rosh HaShana, even when that day is on Shabbat.”
This view of Rabbi David Yosef most eloquently summarizes the view of his father HaRav Ovadiah Yosef as recorded in the books Yehaveh Da‟at (1:56) an Yibeah Omer (4:47). The point to emphasize here is that even without an eruv, the Rabbis suggest doing tashlikh on day one of Rosh HaShanah. As Rabbi David says, “it is always more correct to recite it on day one of Rosh HaShana, even when that day is on Shabbat.”
The holy Mekubalim always recite tashlikh on the first day of Rosh HaShanah, even when that day is the Shabat (ref. Kaf HaHaim 583:31). The reason for this, they explain, is that the severity of judgment on day one of Rosh HaShanah is greater than on day two. Therefore, the prayers of tashlikh, which are designed to mitigate judgment, are more auspiciously said on day one than on day two. So important is this that Rabbi Eliyahu Mani of Hevron would never recite tashlikh on day two of Rosh HaShana if day one fell on Shabbat. He wrote (Minhagei Beit El in Hevron, 75) that tashlikh is only applicable on day one. Unfortunately, there are those Sephardim in many places outside of Eretz Yisrael who refrain from doing tashlikh on day one of Rosh HaShanah because the eruvim in their communities were designed by our brothers the Ashkenazim and, therefore, do not conform to Sephardic standards. For the longest time, this has been a serious issue amongst Sephardim living in predominantly Ashkenazi neighborhoods. However, in his recent work Yibeah Omer (9:33) HaRav Ovadiah Yosef writes in detail suggesting that the standards used for eruvim today can be interpreted as being acceptable for Sephardic use. In light of this ruling, many Sephardim today take advantage of the Ashkenazi eruvim without concern. In relationship to tashlikh, this means that even the most makhmir (stringent observers) can take advantage of the eruv, even if it be just this once, to perform tashlikh, which Rav Mani says must be performed on day one of Rosh HaShanah. As Rabbi David Ovadiah wrote above, if one does not wish to carry a Mahzor themselves out of concerns over the eruv, one may then have a child under the age of Bar/Bat Mitzvah carry the book for them.
In conclusion, one may rely upon a local eruv, carry a Mahzor to a body of water within the eruv, and recite the tashlikh prayers of the first day of Rosh HaShanah that coincides with Shabbat. This is the correct and proper observance in accordance to both Mekubalim and Rabbanim. As always, there are dissenting views, yet they offer nothing so important to postpone the supplications for Divine mercy at this most auspicious of times.
Indeed, as known to the Mekubalim, Shabbat afternoon is the most auspicious time for prayer, when our prayers rise to the highest levels and reveal the highest levels of Divine mercy. How appropriate is it to then say tashlikh at this most auspicious hour. Those who do so are assured to receive Divine favor throughout the year.
May HaShem cleanse us all of our sins, and renew for us all a year of mercy, righteousness, protection, health, wealth and all good things. Let us all say Amen.
THE DELIGHT OF YOM KIPPUR from the Salant Foundation
The Prophet Isaiah (58:5) admonished Klal Yisrael for being downhearted on Yom Kippur-Is such gloom the fast that I have chosen? Is the purpose of] the day for man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under his feet?
What is the criticism of Isaiah? Yom Kippur is a time of judgment, fasting, and repentance. Isn't the focus of the day to reflect on one's misdeeds and shortcomings-and to feel a sense of despair?
Actually it is not this at all. As explained in the next passage of Isaiah
In the next passage (58:6) Isaiah explains what should take place on Yom Kippur-Isn't the purpose of this fast that I have chosen to loosen fetters of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?
Yom Kippur is a time of liberation. It provides us with the opportunity to extricate ourselves from negativity and selfishness. If we open our hearts to the power of Yom Kippur and fill our souls with goodness and kindness-Then shall your light break forth as the morning, and your healing shall quickly spring forth (58:8).
What day do we celebrate Yom Kippur?
Of course it is the 10th of Tishrai. Let's see what the Torah says.
The Torah deliberately writes (Vayikra 23:32) that Yom Kippur takes place on the ninth of Tishrei, even though the actual date of observance is the tenth of Tishrei. By associating the previous day, i.e. the ninth, to Yom Kippur, the Torah is telling us that anyone who partakes of a festive meal on the ninth is considered as if he fasted on both the ninth and the tenth.
In the same spirit of the Prophet, this verse teaches that Yom Kippur is a time of joy and celebration-for there is no greater happiness than forgiveness and redemption. The purpose of avodas HaShem and repentance is true joy and delight. Although certain aspects of our observance evoke remorse-this is the means and not the end. Through proper appreciation and fulfillment of the Yom Kippur procedure-our spirits are cleansed, our souls elevated, and our hearts filled with delight.
[Based on Ohr HaZafon of Rav Nosson Zvi Finkel]
The following information is from the Writings of Rabbi Isaac Luria.
During the eve of Yom Kippur, Malchut is totally sawed from Zeir Anpin. She begins her elevation towards Ima or Binah. This is actually a repetition of the Tzimzum only limiting to the frame of reference for this particular year.
During this elevation Malchut takes the five Gevurot, which are metaphorically the five final Letters referred to as Mantzipach (מןץףך), with her on the rise to Ima. The Manzipach have a relationship to the 5 restrictions we employ on Yom Kippur. No Drink or Food, No Sexual relations, No washing, No perfuming, and No leather shoes.
end of ARI Writings
This 9th of Tishrai has some special rituals since it is the last time that the community can do Slichot together prior to Yom Kippur. It is also taught by the Sages that the more we eat this day it is like we are fasting a second day adding to our elevation on Yom Kippur. Many people have the custom of participating in the Kapporat ritual and then eating that chicken as their meal prior to the fast.
The Kabbalists refer to Yom Kippur as a day with 5 very large meals as each prayer is considered a meal as one grows from Malchut to Keter of Binah.
During the Neilah Service one can access the upper worlds and create the personal year ahead for the world. The year without chaos can be visualized and then manifested. It takes two prerequisites to make that happen. One the consciousness must be certain that this can happen just from our vision. Two the ability to hold one thought is important in manifesting this seed image for the year.
When one makes a vow and does not perform it, one damages the breath (hevel) that comes from Zeir Anpin to Malchut. (During these 23 days of Chagim, Zeir Anpin is beside not above Malchut). To achieve zivug or unification, it takes three items in preparation. One is breath, One is hug, and One is a Kiss.
To correct the Kiss, one should hug the Torahs as they make their way around the Congregation and meditate that Zeir Anpin is hugging the Nukva with Chesed and Gevurah the right and left arms. This starts the flow of beneficence from Zeir Anpin to Malchut.
Then one should kiss the Torah and meditate that the breath is being transferred by the mouth of Zeir Anpin to the mouth of the Nukva.
Also, meditate that the merit of the Torah Scroll will correct the drops of Keri (wasted seed) and will elevate the light of the drops out of the Klipah and back to the Holiness.
Also, meditate the hugging of the Torah Scroll corrects all unfulfilled vows and oaths.
Then say the verse, "Ohr Zarua Latzadik" which has the last letters of these words spelling the word KRA or tear up the negativity and elevate all of the sparks back to Yesod. Then say Ulyishray Lev Simcha which has the last letters have a gematria of 17 which is Tov or good and that means Yesod becomes Good due to the elevation of the sparks.
We wear the Tallit Katan which is Binah of Assiya the night of Yom Kippur along with the Tallit Gadol which is Binah of Beria to represent the surrounding lights that will be elevated to Cosmic Binah. This is needed on this one night a year.
Baruch Shem Kavod phrase is said out loud on Yom Kippur. To understand this we need to know why we say this phrase silently all other times. Shem is a code Name for Malchut. Malchut is exposed to the Klipot except when it elevates to Binah. We say it quietly to protect it from the Klipot. On Yom Kippur we elevate Malchut to Binah and thus there is no danger in saying it out loud.
10. Day 10 Yom Kippur, this year begins Wednesday evening September 15 to Thursday September 16 2021.
Here is a copy of the email that will be sent out prior to Yom Kippur.
Every Jewish soul knows about Yom Kippur-The Day of Atonement. The day of the five afflictions (No food or drink, No washing the body, No perfume, No Sex, No Leather Shoes). The Holiday that seems to not be a happy day. Yet each soul truly makes an effort to attend at least the evening service because of Kol Nidrai. The Kol Nidrai service is the most attended service of the year no one can explain why?
People think they know about Yom Kippur but actually they have no idea of the true essence of this Holiday. In fact, Isaiah in Chapter 48 indicates that this fast is not about being sad and repentant, as is usually the case when we fast. It is about joy and happiness as we will explain below.
Let's look at Kol Nidrai. It is actually a similar exercise as Hadarat Nedarim which we did prior to Rosh Hashanah. So why do we do Kol Nidrai in the Aramaic Language? What is the difference between Kol Nidrai and Hadarat Nedarim? Hadarat Nedarim voids all vows made in the physical world. Yet before we incarnated into this world we made other vows. Vows like "i will achieve my Tikune in this lifetime. Vows like i will become a Tzadik during this lifetime." Kol Nidrai absolves the soul of any of these vows not yet fulfilled. That is why so many people WHO NEVER GO TO A MINYAN COME TO HEAR KOL NIDRAI EACH YEAR.
Kol Nidrai is said in the Aramaic language because, as the Kabbalists explain, The Angels do not understand Aramaic. Therefore, they are unable to interfere with the voiding of the vows which is done for only a one year period. We also learn from this that our Tikunim can be completed within one year.
On Yom Kippur we read from the Torah twice and from the Prophets Twice. This only occurs one day in the year. Let's look at what is read.
We read Leviticus Chapter 16 which is the beginning of the Parasha of Acherai Mot translated as "After Death." The Haftara is Isaiah Chapter 57 Verse 14 to Chapter 58 Verse 14. The reading at the Mincha Prayer is Chapter 18 and the Haftara is the Book of Jonah. An interesting exception is there is no Maftir read during the Mincha Prayer.
The simple story of these readings is as follows:
Chapter 16 is the description of the actions of the High Priest on Yom Kippur.
Chapter 18 is the list of sexual prohibitions which the Kabbalists teach us are related to the Sefirot and not just the literal meaning.
The Isaiah Reading includes a description of insincere fasting.
The Book of Jonah deals with a Prophet who does not want to deliver his message to the non-Jewish city Tarshish.
For additional information about any of the above subjects see previous years' emails in the links below or send an email to email@example.com.
A Deeper Kabbalistic Insight into the Readings
Both Readings on Yom Kippur (Leviticus Chapter 16 and Chapter 18) come from the Parasha of Acherai Mot. The Name of the Parasha is most revealing. It is "AFTER DEATH."
What comes after death? Mashiach! What comes after Yom Kippur? Each person is totally cleansed. We have reached the level of the Tzadikim. If only we changed ourselves sufficiently, we would remain at this level of consciousness called Tzadik - Righteous. Remember this means doing what is Right.
The highest revelation of Goodness in this world is the bringing of children. This is the area of sexual relations. This revelation of Goodness requires a balance in this area. By hearing this reading which is just before the Neilah Service, we receive the highest form of cleansing. This cleansing causes us to REMOVE the ENERGY of DEATH.
This reading is a vaccine against our normal human response to fasting. Why do we fast on Yom Kippur? We are limiting our connection to the physical world so that we can rise to the spiritual level of Binah. If we do not "KNOW" this information then the reason we fast is because God "Commands" it. This is idol worship per the Zohar. This reading assists us in fasting for the reasons that will disconnect us from the physical world.
Book of Jonah:
The Baal Shem Tov teaches that the Book of Jonah is a description of the Journey of the soul from the spiritual world to the physical world and then through the resurrection of the dead leading to the time of Mashiach. He teaches that the spitting out of Jonah by the "Big Fish" is related to the resurrection of the dead.
In my opinion, it is also a vaccine against seeking a short cut through the process of life, and making our Tikune. We know that seeking shortcuts usually lead to lengthening our life process.
Jonah is sent to give a prophecy to the City of Ninevah. He runs to the city of Tarshish to avoid giving the Prophecy. The Prophecy is about Teshuvah.
Ninevah has a gematria of 121. Tarshish is spelled two ways in the book of Jonah. One way has a gematria of 1210. The other has a final Hey which means according to Kabbalah the physical world.
1210 is 10 times 121. This means that Tarshish is a completed structure of ten Sefirot with respect to Ninevah. Perhaps Jonah wanted to shorten the process by going to Tarshish and complete the process that has a code word Ninevah.
Ninevah is spelled as Nun (fully spelled) Yood Hey. This suggests the idea of the falling upper worlds. Tarshish when spelled with the final Hey suggests the completion of the upper worlds.
The normal explanation is that Jonah did not want to do what HaShem said. This does not make sense to me because a Prophet is a very high level of consciousness. It is difficult to conceive of a Prophet who spends many years developing the skills and tools to speak to HaShem avoiding HaShem's directions when he hears them. Also i think that Jonah wanted to shorten the completion to reach the consciousness of the Resurrection of the Dead.
What do we learn from the Above?
The Kabbalists teach, as a metaphor, that the 5 prayers we say on Yom Kippur are the 5 meals we miss on Yom Kippur while fasting. These "meals" are the step by step process to rise from Malchut to Keter of Binah.
All of these readings from the Torah are for the purpose of cleansing us spirituality so that we can reach Keter of Binah. The purpose of reaching Keter of Binah, which is the "energy store," is to allow us to change, at the DNA level, the year that we created on Rosh Hashanah. At the end of Yom Kippur the year is then going to be manifested although there is actually the process of completing the fulfillment for this coming year. That is the process of the next 12 days. That is why the Kabbalists suggest one do an action to start to build the Sukkah the evening of the Break Fast.
We have reached the highest point on Yom Kippur which is the Highest Potential Day of the Year. During this last Meal/Prayer we say 7 times HaShem Hu HaElohim. The link below will be to an essay that will explain the Secrets involved with this phrase and how it changes Your spiritual DNA for the year.
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