Monday, November 6, 2017

Close Call: Sometimes Milliseconds Matter

It was a sunny December day in Woodmere, New York, where we lived at the time. Little did I know how close we were to disaster.
Our son woke from his afternoon nap later than usual, so we had to rush out of the house to make it to the fun activity, called Chanukah Wonderland.
They had rented out an entire storefront and the place was packed, with a line forming down the street. We parked and waited quite some time to enter with our impatient two-year-old. The wait felt like an eternity.
Our turn was finally next. When we reached the entrance desk, the woman excused herself to use the restroom. “I’ll just be a minute,” she explained apologetically. After she returned, I fumbled to find our checkbook in my huge diaper bag. At the very bottom was my checkbook, drenched in liquid from my son’s sippy cup. Unbeknownst to me, his milk had been leaking through the bag and had even soiled my skirt!
We quickly paid cash and then I calmly paused, took off the bag, and did a quick wipe down. After everything was clean, we could finally enter.
My husband held our son in his arms and began walking towards the moon bounce that our toddler was pointing to excitedly. As they walked ahead, something caused me to stop. Unexplainably, my feet planted, and I couldn’t bring myself to move. When my husband realized I wasn’t with him, he hesitated, turned around, and took a few steps to walk back to me.
At that moment, in the exact spot my husband had been standing with our son, a huge SUV came bursting through the glass wall of the storefront and continued driving into the Chanukah Wonderland. The car sped right past my husband’s arm, knocking everything down in its path.
The place looked like a bomb scene. People ran out of the car’s way and in milliseconds, the room emptied. After making sure my son and I were out okay, my husband went back in to pick up a toddler that was being trampled on by adults and brought her outside to safety.
We were sure it was a terrorist’s attack, targeting Chabad. After all, it happened just weeks after the Chabad of Mumbai incident.
But it wasn’t an attack; it was an accident caused by a 76-year-old man. The carpet in his car got twisted between the pedals as he was frantically trying to push on his brakes. The more he pressed down on the brake, the harder the rug pushed on the accelerator.
Miraculously, no one died from the incident. A friend of mine was sitting in a seat rocking her baby in the stroller to her right. She picked up the baby to nurse and moments later the car drove into the stroller, causing it to fly in the air. She too missed the car’s wrath by less than two feet.
One man was run over by the car and it took the strength of 12 people to lift it off him. He was injured but eventually recovered.
Chanukah was certainly filled with miracles that year.
I often think of all the small inconveniences of that day that ended up saving our lives. Our son slept later than usual, and we waited an extraordinary amount of time in line. The woman who happened to need to use the restroom. And milk spilt on my leg. Had we already been inside even moments before, we could have been injured, or worse. All these moments of delay that we were initially annoyed about ended up saving us.
I think about this story when I encounter inconvenient delays – the detour, the missed flight, the long wait in line – and tell myself “I am precisely where I am supposed to be at this moment.”
A similar story happened to my grandfather during WWII. He was fighting for the American Army on the ground in France. They reached a house with a white picket fence and marigolds all around. The house looked serene and seemed to be a perfect place to hide for safety. Little did they know it was a decoy and it hid land mines laced with bombs throughout the property. My grandfather experienced a premonition of danger and did not want to open the picket fence. Despite his commander’s orders, he simply refused to obey. His refusal saved his life.
The bomb went off the moment the door was opened. I am here today, along with my children and hundreds of cousins, aunts, and uncles because of his premonition.
We may not always see how, but even the seemingly inconvenient occurrences or inexplicable premonitions are part of a larger plan.
A version of this article appeared in The Jewish Home
This article is one of many that appears in Sarah Pachter’s book Small Choices, Big Changes published by Targum Press. The book has timeless teachings through the lens of Torah consisting of over 60 chapters covering universal topics such as happiness, success, relationships and parenting. 
By Sara Pachter

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Power of Words

Jerusalem was in an uproar! A well-known man, a member of the Belzer Chasidic sect, and his wife had just given birth to their first child - a boy - after being childless for twenty-eight years!

Well over a thousand people came by to wish Mazel Tov to the proud and exhausted father. The food supply ran out in short order as did the drinks, but no one seemed to mind. At the height of the celebration, the crowd quieted down as the father indicated that he would like to say a few words. He began in a loud voice, "Thank you all for coming and sharing in the joyous celebration. Although I have no more food to offer, let me at least tell over a story which I'm sure you'll appreciate."

The ecstatic new father composed himself and continued. "When I was still an unmarried student learning in the Yeshiva (Rabbinical School), there was a cleaning lady who would come by every day to tidy up and scrub the study hall and adjoining rooms. She was a fixture in the yeshiva and devoted her life to maintaining the building. She was, however, not a wealthy person by any stretch and as her own family grew she was at a loss of options as far as taking care of her children. She decided to bring her kids with her to work, and as she cleaned and mopped in one area of the building, the young children would run amuck, screaming, crying and generally causing quite a commotion, in the rest of the yeshiva. At first, we put up with it; we even thought it was cute for a time. But after a while, the kids really began to disrupt us in our learning. Try as we might to control them, they wouldn't listen and continued on in their childish games and noise. A number of younger students asked me, as one of the oldest in the group to ask her not to bring her children anymore to the school. 

"I agreed to talk to her and I brazenly walked up to her and told her that her kids were disturbing everyone and she should find some sort of alternative method of child-care for them. I'll never forget how she looked at me with tired eyes and said, 'Young man , you should never have the pain and anguish that one goes through when raising children.'

The crowd gasped.

"As many of you know," continued the father, "my wife and I have been to countless doctors who've recommended every sort of treatment. We moved abroad for awhile to be near an 'expert' which proved to be fruitless. One last, extreme treatment was offered and after trying that, it too, turned out to be just a fantasy; we felt doomed to a life without the pleasure of raising a family.

"After that last attempt, as we walked back into the apartment that we lived in for the past twenty-eight years, our entire sad situation hit us full force, like a ton of bricks. Together, we broke down crying, trying to figure out why G-d was testing us this way.

"All of a sudden, I remembered the episode with the cleaning lady and the "blessing" she had given me. It occurred to me to try and reach her and ask for forgiveness. But after all these years, who knows where she would be?

"I spent hours on the phone until I came up with an address, which I ran over to immediately. She did not recognize me obviously, but when I told her over the story, a spark flickered in her eyes. I tearfully apologized for my harsh words and she graciously forgave me with her whole heart." 


Beaming from ear to ear, the father announced, “That took place exactly nine months ago!" 
(©2017. Printed with permission from Rabbi Baruch Lederman, author of Shulweek www.kehillastorah.org.)


Friday, October 20, 2017

The Tower of Babel

The Flood was history. The era of robbery, greed, and corruption was washed away by its powerful waves. Peace and tranquillity reigned. The entire world was now united — against the Almighty. The world community decided that in the interest of harmony they would join forces and build a colossal tower to reach to the heavens. Then they would ascend the tower and do battle with G-d Himself. It was an ambitious dream, but they were united and determined.
G-d, however, had other plans. He would not destroy the builders but rather confuse them. He changed their languages so they were not able to communicate. One man would ask for a hammer and receive a nail, a saw, or a blank stare. Enraged, the requestor would then argue with and even strike his fellow builder who was impeding progress. Eventually a small civil war erupted on the construction site. The men dispersed and the construction project was eternally halted. And seventy distinct nations ultimately emerged.

It is puzzling: how does a problem such as lack of communication stop a lofty project of such tremendous scope? Didn’t the French and British jointly finish the Chunnel, the tunnel that connects the two countries, under the English Channel?

A college professor was known give difficult tests yet he had a very lenient policy. If a student missed the exam he could take a make-up test the next day. The make-up, however, was always the same test the professor had given the day prior.

15 minutes before the final exam, of a particularly difficult semester, the professor received a phone call. The four voices crowding the phone booth sounded desperate.

“Professor, we were on our way to take your final and we got a flat tire. Please let us take a make-up exam tomorrow.” “Certainly,” the professor responded.

The next day the four young men walked in feeling quite smug. They had reviewed the entire final with a friend who had taken it the day before. The professor seated the four students in different corners of the room. He placed a single sheet of paper in front of each one and stated crisply.

“Today’s make-up exam entails just one question. I would like you young men, each in his own way, to write down for me…” he looked at the young men and smiled knowingly — “which tire was flat?”

When the goal entails truth and true good for mankind, when the goals are harmonious with the concepts that transcend culture, language, custom, or vogue, then nothing can impede success.

But when selfishness rules and individual glory and gratification is the motivation, then the simplest problem can cause total disunity, contempt, and ultimately failure.

When our common goals are enveloped in common good, then we can unite under the most difficult of circumstances. However, if our motivations are selfish, the slightest impediment will leave our entire project and mission flat. As flat as the tire of Babel. 

(Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky http://www.Torah.org)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Border Police

Someone driving an expensive Mercedes came to the border. The border police suspected contraband and asked him to open the baggage compartment. All they found were buckets of soil.
"What’s this?" they asked him.
"I’m building a new home, and the earth I need for building is cheaper in the other country. So I go there and fill up buckets with sand…" They didn’t believe him. It was strange that one would import soil, just to save a few pennies. So they sifted through the earth hoping to find diamonds but they didn’t find anything, and they let him pass. The following day, he drove his Mercedes to the border, once again. The border patrol sifted through the soil, didn’t find anything and let him on his way. This happened every day for months. After a while, they stopped sifting through the earth, because they saw that there was nothing there.
One day, he came to the border and told the guards that he wouldn’t be coming anymore. "I finished building my house, so there's no reason for me to import anymore earth." They asked him, "Tell us the truth: were you just importing earth all this time? It doesn’t make sense that you would go through all this effort, just because the earth is a few pennies cheaper." He replied, "I'll tell you if you promise that you won’t arrest me and that you won't report me to the government." They promised. He said, "Fools, the soil was just a coy. I was importing Mercedes cars. Every day, I drove a new Mercedes …" 
The moral of the story is that there are lots of things that can distract us from the primary focus of life. Let's not get side-tracked. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

This Year Sukkot begins October 4, 2017 at Sunset (6:18 pm NY Time) - Ends on October 13 after Sunset (Shabbat follows the Holiday)

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A Very Very Simple Guide for Sukkot Celebration


(In honor of Sukkot, please print BEFORE the Holiday begins - This Document contains G-d's Name, therefore it may NOT be thrown out)


As soon as the solemn day of Yom Kippur is behind us, we focus on the traditions of the upcoming joyous holiday of Sukkot. We build a temporary house called Sukkah, which remind us of the Clouds of Glory with which G-d surrounded the Jewish people in the desert after the Exodus from Egypt.


It is very special to experience a meal in a Sukkah and to 'shake' The Four Species (Lulav, Etrog, Aravot and Hadassim). If you have never done either before, visit http://www.cbscommunitycenter.com.You can also visit www.Chabad.org to find a synagogue near you where you can be accommodated.

Elevating the Mundane - When we do a mitzvah (a commandment), we elevate ourselves, the object with which we did the mitzvah, and our environment. Most commandments are focused only on limited aspects of our being and limited dimensions of our environment. However, when it comes to dwelling in a Sukkah, not only is the entire body enveloped by the mitzvah, but so are the most mundane aspects of life. After all, by eating, drinking or even reading a good book in the Sukkah, we perform a mitzvah that encompasses our entire body!

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CANDLE LIGHING


Women (or if there isn't a woman in the house, the head of the household) lights candles.


Please light from existing fire of a candle you light prior to the Holiday.




On Wednesday October 4th (6:18 pm NY Time) and Thursday October 5 (after 7:46 pm NY Time) and


Wednesday October 11th (6:07 pm NY Time)  and Thursday October 12th (after 7:35 pm)  5 say two prayers below:


1. Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-olam asher ki-deshanu be-mitzvo-tav ve-tzvi-vanu Lehadlik Ner Shel Yom Tov


 


(Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us to light the candle of the Holiday.


 


2 . Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-olam she-heche-ya-nu ve-ki-yi-ma-nu ve-higi-a-nu liz-man ha-zeh


(Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.)




On Friday October 6th  (at 6:15 pm NY Time) and Friday October 13th (at 6:04 pm NY Time) say:





Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-olam asher ki-deshanu be-mitzvo-tav ve-tzvi-vanu Lehadlik Ner Shel Shabbos


(Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us to  kindle the light of the Holy Shabbat)





Evening Kiddush for Wednesday and Thursday Nights





Kiddush is recited while holding a cup of kosher wine or grape juice.


Barukh atah A-do-nai, Elohaynu, melekh ha-olam asher bachar banu mee-kol am, v'rom'manu mee-kol lashon v'kee'd'shanu b'meetzvotav, va-teeten lanu, A-do-nai Elohaynu, b'ahavah mo'adeem l'seemchah, chageem u-z'maneem l'sason, et yom chag ha-Sukkot hazeh, z'man seemchateinumeekra kodesh, zeicher leetzeeyat meetz'rayeem Ki Vanu Vacharta V’osanu Keedashtsa Mekol Haamim U-mo'aday Kadsh’kha b'simchah u-v'sason hin’chal’tanu. Barukh atah Adonai, m’kadesh Yisra'el v'ha-z'manim. (Amein)

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, king of the universe who has chosen us from among all people, and exalted us above every tongue and sanctified us with His commandments, and you gave us, Lord our God, with love appointed festivals for gladness, festivals and times for joy, this day of the festival of Sukkot, the time of our gladness a holy convocation, a memorial of the exodus from Egypt Indeed, You have chosen us and made us holy among all peoples and your holy festivals in gladness and in joy you have given us for an inheritance Blessed are You, who sanctifies Israel and the seasons. (Amen)



Friday Night Kiddush


Part 1 : (Quietly: Va-ye-hee erev, va-ye-hee voker.) Yom Ha-shishi. Va-ye-chulu hasha-mayim vi-ha-aretz vi-kole tzi-va-am. Va-yichal Elohim ba-yom hashe-vi'i milach-to asher asa. Va-yish-bose ba-yome hashe-vi'I mi-kole milach-to asher asa. Va-ye-varech Elohim es yom hashe-vi'i va-yi-kadesh oso. Kee voe shavas mi-kole milach-toe asher bara Elohim la-a-sose.

(Quietly: It was evening and it was morning.) The sixth day. So the heavens and the earth were finished, with all their complement. On the seventh day, God had completed His work which He had undertaken, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had been doing. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He ceased from all His creative work, which God had brought into being to fulfill its purpose.

Part 2:  Savri maranan ve-rabanan ve-rabosai: Baruch ata Adonoy, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, borei peri ha-gafen. (Others respond: "Amen")

Blessed are You God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine. (Others respond: "Amen")

Part 3: Baruch ata Adonoy, Elo-heinu melech ha-Olam, asher kidish-anu bi-mitz-vosav vi-ratza vanu, vi-Shabbos kod-sho bi-ahava uv-ratzon hin-chi-lanu, zikaron lima-aseh vi-raishis. Ki hu yom ti-chila li-mikra-ay kodesh, zay-cher li-tzi-as mitz-rayim. Ki vanu vachar-ta vi-osanu kidash-ta mikol ha-amim. Vi-shabbos kod-shicha bi-ahava uv-ratzon hinchal-tanu. Baruch ata Adonoy, mi-kadesh ha-shabbos. ("Amen")

Blessed are You God, King of the Universe, who made us holy with his commandments and favored us, and gave us His holy Shabbat, in love and favor, to be our heritage, as a reminder of the Creation. It is the foremost day of the holy festivals marking the Exodus from Egypt. For out of all the nations You chose us and made us holy, and You gave us Your holy Shabbat, in love and favor, as our heritage. Blessed are you God, Who sanctifies Shabbat. (“Amen”)

Part 4:  Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ha-olam Asher Kideshanu Bemitzvotav Vetzivanu Leshev Basukkah.

Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to sit in the Sukkah.





Before drinking the wine sit down and say the following blessing for the Sukkah:



Baruch atah A-donoy, Elo-heinu Melech Ha’Olam, asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu Leishev baSukah



Blessed are you, Lord, our G-d, sovereign king of the universe who sanctified us through His mitzvah of dwelling in the Sukkah



Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam shehecheyanu v'kiyimanu v'higi'anu laz'man hazeh.




Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign king of the universe who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season (Amen)





Pour some wine into a separate cup for guests and then drink the rest yourself without talking.



Challah in Honey



Immediately following the kiddush, we perform the ritual washing for bread. Fill a large cup with water. Pass the cup to your left hand and pour three times over your right hand. Repeat by pouring on your left hand. As you wipe your hands recite the blessing:



Baruch atah A-donoy, Elo-heinu Melech Ha’Olam, asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu al netilat yadayim.



When everyone has returned to the table, we raise the two challah loaves and recite the blessing:



Ba-ruch atah A-do-nay, E-lo-hei-nu Melech Ha-Olam, hamotzie le-chem min ha-are-tz.



Blessed are You, L-rd, our G‑d, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.



Cut the challah, dip it in honey and salt, and have a bite. Pass around pieces and make sure everyone does the same.





Important Addition for this Year:

Since the Holiday goes straight into Shabbath, in order to cook for Shabbath one must make an Eruv Tavshilin ritual.



What is the procedure for Eruv Tavshilin?

Before the beginning of the Holiday one sets aside two types of food, one cooked and one baked. If one cannot obtain both items, a cooked item alone would be acceptable but a baked item alone would not suffice. The cooked item must be at least the size of a large olive (approximately half the size of a chicken’s egg) and the baked item should be at least the size of a chicken’s egg.

 "With this Eruv it should be permitted for us to bake, cook, insulate food, light a candle, and do any need from Yom Tov for Shabbat".





UNIQUE FEATURES OF SUKKOT


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A Sukkah is a hut built to provide shade. That's why it must sit beneath the open sky—not under a patio deck or even the branches of a tree. The walls can be made of any material, as long as they are secure and don't flap about in the wind. The roof, however, (we call it s'chach), must be of unprocessed materials which have grown from the ground. Bamboo poles, thin wooden slats, and evergreen branches are popular choices. We make sure to use enough s'chach so that the inside of the sukkah has more shade than sunlight.



On Sukkot, along with the mitzvah of dwelling in the Sukkah comes the Scriptural obligation of “taking” the Four Species as instructed by the verse, “On the first day, you must take for yourself a fruit of the citron tree, an unopened palm frond, myrtle branches and willows of the brook.”



We take the Four species on all days of Sukkot except Shabbat 



The Four Species are co-dependent, and if one of the four is missing, the mitzvah is not fulfilled. In total, seven individual items are required for the mitzvah:



1. One Lulav



2. One Etrog



3. Two Aravot



4. Three Hadassim



Why are these four plants used instead of other plants? There are two primary explanations of the symbolic significance of these plants: that they represent different parts of the body, or that they represent different kinds of Jews.



According to the first interpretation, the long straight palm branch represents the spine. The myrtle leaf, which is a small oval, represents the eye. The willow leaf, a long oval, represents the mouth, and the Etrog fruit represents the heart.



All of these parts have the potential to be used for sin, but should join together in the performance of commandments and bring Divine Light into the world.



According to the second interpretation, the Etrog, which has both a pleasing taste and a pleasing scent, represents Jews who have achieved both knowledge of Torah and performance of mitzvot (commandments). The palm branch, which produces tasty fruit, but has no scent, represents Jews who have knowledge of Torah but are lacking in mitzvot. The myrtle leaf, which has a strong scent but no taste, represents Jews who perform mitzvot but have little knowledge of Torah. The willow, which has neither taste nor scent, represents Jews who have no knowledge of Torah and do not perform the mitzvot.



We bring all four of these species together on Sukkot to remind us that every one of these four kinds of Jews is important, and that we must all be united.





The Blessing for the Four Species


Take the etrog in your left hand with the stem (green tip) up and the pitam (brown tip) down. Take the lulav (including the palm, myrtle and willow branches bound together) in your right hand. Bring your hands together and recite the blessing below.



Barukh atah A-do-nai, Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu al n'tilat lulav (Amein)
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to take up the lulav (Amen)

First Day Only Add:

Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
shehecheyanu v'kiyimanu v'higi'anu laz'man hazeh.
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign king of the universe
who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season (Amen)



After you recite the blessing, turn the etrog so the stem is down and the pitam is up. (Be careful not to damage the pitam)

With the lulav and etrog together, gently shake forward (East) three times, then pull the lulav and etrog back in front of your chest. Repeat this to the right (South), then over your right shoulder (West), then to the left (North), then up, then down.





Seven Guests

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Sukkah generates an intense concentration of spiritual energy. During Sukkot the souls of the seven great leaders of Israel –Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph, and King David – actually leave Heavenly realm to partake in the Divine Light of Sukkot. Collectively these transcendent guests are known as Ushpizin, the Aramaic word meaning "guests."



Each of the seven Ushpizin correspond to a fundamental spiritual pathway through which the world is perfected



·                                 Abraham represents love and kindness

·                                 Isaac represents restraint and personal strength

·                                 Jacob represents beauty and truth

·                                 Moses represents eternality and dominance through Torah

·                                 Aaron represents empathy and receptivity to divine splendor

·                                 Joseph represents holiness and the spiritual foundation

·                                 David represents the establishment of the kingdom of Heaven on Earth



We can connect to these energies and learn from our great leaders.



Simchat Torah

Sukkot is the only holiday that really encompasses two holidays: Seven days of Sukkot and one day of Shemini Atzeret [upon which we celebrate Simchat Torah]. These final two days begin at sundown on October 11 until nightfall on October 13 in 2017.

On this final day, it is customary to conclude and then immediately begin the annual cycle of Torah reading.

The highlight of this holiday is the boisterous singing and dancing in the synagogue, as the Torah scrolls are paraded in circles around.

Although the eighth day follows Sukkot, it is actually an independent holiday in many respects (we no longer take the Four Kinds or dwell in the sukkah). Jews outside of Israel still eat in the sukkah.


The intermediate days (nightfall on October 6 until sundown on October 11 in 2017) are quasi holidays, known as Chol Hamoed


Water and Joy

On Sukkot, G‑d determines how much rain will fall that winter (the rainy season in Israel). Thus while every sacrifice in the Temple included wine libations poured over the altar, on Sukkot, water was also poured over the altar in a special ceremony. This ritual engendered such joy that it was celebrated with music, dancing and singing all night long. This celebration was called was “Simchat Beit Hasho’evah.”

Even today, when there is no Temple, it is customary to hold nightly celebrations that include singing and dancing (and even live music during the intermediate days of the holiday).

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Inspirational Story



As we begin the New Year, we are humbled by the realization how dependant we are on our Creator. As we sit in the Sukkah during the Holiday of Sukkot, we are meant to ponder upon just how fragile our lives really are and how appreciative we must be of getting a gift of another year of Life. As the following true story illustrates.



Had this not happened to me I would never have believed it. I was driving my smart car one day in Borough Park in New York  and for those of you that don’t know, a smart car is small and lightweight car. I stopped at a red light but I was daydreaming and when it became green I did not start driving right away. The driver in the car behind me – let’s call him Mr. Lexus – was very impatient and started honking his horn. As I started driving down the next block Mr. Lexus started to tailgate me and was overall acting in a very aggressive manner. Not wanting to be harassed I pulled over to the side and let Mr. Lexus move in front of me.



As we came to the very next intersection the light was green and the Mr. Lexus rightfully proceeded to enter the intersection. When he was in middle the intersection a tow truck driving at 50 mph ran a red light and T-boned Mr. Lexus. The impact flipped Mr. Lexus’s car and send it tumbling over forty feet. Had I not moved over to let Mr. Lexus pass me, then I would have been in the intersection, and a driver of a smart car does not survive when a tow truck hits it at 50 mph.



All of this started with the little detail of me having a daydream in my car. I guess what I am trying to say is that we sometimes have this idea that G-d is busy with the big issues of the world, the natural disasters, the climate change, and geopolitics. This story showed me that G-d is also involved in our day-to-day lives, and even a small detail like me getting harassed by an aggressive driver, was all part of a plan that was ultimately for my best. I came out of this not only shaken up because I almost lost my life but because I realized how precious and fragile life is. Enjoy every moment!


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For my Short Russian video on the Holiday, please visit
http://youtu.be/czN9RjqG2gI





For more information visit

http://www.partnersintorah.org/wp-content/uploads/succosin60.pdf


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

This year Yom Kippur Begins Friday night, Sept. 29 at 6:27 pm (NY time) - ends Saturday, Sept. 30, after 7:25 pm (NY time)

A Very Very Simple Guide for Yom Kippur Celebration



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Please watch this video before the Holiday

http://www.aish.com/h/hh/video/Yom-Kippur-The-Three-Levels-of-Forgiveness.html?s=mm


 (This Document contains G-d's Name, therefore it may NOT be thrown out)


Eating a Pre-Yom Kippur Holiday Meal



It is a mitzvah to eat and drink in abundance, more than one is normally accustomed to, before the onset of Yom Kippur. The Talmud states that "Whoever eats and drinks on the 9th of Tishrei (a day before), it is regarded as if he had fasted on both the 9th and the 10th." Before your pre-Yom Kippur meal wash your hands on bread. 



Fill a large cup with water. Pass the cup to your left hand and pour three times over your right hand. Repeat by pouring on your left hand. As you wipe your hands recite the blessing:

Baruch atah A-donoy, Elo-heinu Melech Ha’Olam, asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu al netilat yadayim.

[Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the universe, who sanctified with His Mitzvahs and commanded us on washing our hands]

When everyone has returned to the table, we raise the two challah loaves and recite the blessing:

Ba-ruch atah A-do-nay, E-lo-hei-nu Melech Ha-Olam, hamotzie le-chem min ha-are-tz.

[Blessed are You, L-rd, our G‑d, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.]

Cut the challah, dip it in honey, and have a bite. Pass around pieces and make sure everyone does the same.

Lighting of the Candles


Women (or if there isn't a woman in the house, the head of the household), light candles.


Light the candles on the evening of Friday night, Sept. 29, 2017 at 6:27 pm (Philadelphia and NY time)


1) Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-olam asher ki-deshanu be-mitzvo-tav ve-tzvi-vanu le-hadlik ner shel Shabbat vi HaYom Kippirim.


[Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us to kindle the lights of Sabbath and Yom Kippur.]

2) Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-olam she-heche-ya-nu ve-ki-yi-ma-nu ve-higi-a-nu liz-man ha-zeh.
[Blessed are You, L-ord our G-d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.]

May each of us be sealed in the Book of Life for a good year!


Yom Kippur falls ten days after Rosh Hashanah on the 10th of Tishrei. The purpose of Yom Kippur is to bring about reconciliation between people and between individuals and God. According to Jewish tradition, it is also the day when God decides the fate of each human being. Although Yom Kippur is an intense holiday it is nevertheless viewed as a happy day. Why? Because if one has observed the holiday properly by the end of Yom Kippur they will have made peace.



There are five areas of pleasure that we avoid on Yom Kippur:



1.                  Eating or drinking.

2.                  Wearing leather footwear.

3.                  Bathing or washing.

4.                  Applying ointment, lotions, or creams.

5.                  Engaging in any form of spousal intimacy.


The prohibition against wearing leather comes from a reluctance to wear the skin of a slaughtered animal while asking God for mercy.


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There are three essential components of Yom Kippur: 


1.                  Repentance

2.                  Prayer

3.                  Fasting



Repentance (Teshuvah)


 


Yom Kippur is a day of reconciliation, when Jews strive to make amends with people and to draw closer to God through prayer and fasting. The ten days leading up to Yom Kippur are known as the Ten Days of Repentance. During this period Jews are encouraged to seek out anyone they may have offended and to sincerely request forgiveness so that the New Year can begin with a clean slate. If the first request for forgiveness is rebuffed, one should ask for forgiveness at least two more times, at which point the person whose forgiveness is being sought should grant the request.


This process of repentance is called TESHUVAH and it is a crucial part of Yom Kippur. Although many people think that transgressions from the
previous year are forgiven through prayer, fasting and participation in Yom Kippur services, Jewish tradition teaches that only offenses committed against God can be forgiven on Yom Kippur. Hence it is important that people make an effort to reconcile with others before participating in Yom Kippur services.



Prayer


Yom Kippur is the longest synagogue service in the Jewish year. It begins on the evening before Yom Kippur day with a haunting song called KOL NIDRE  (All Vows). The words of this melody ask God to forgive any vows people have made to God and not kept. 


The service on the day of Yom Kippur lasts from morning until nightfall. Many prayers are said but one is repeated at intervals throughout the service. This prayer is called Al Khet and asks for forgiveness for a variety of sins that may have been committed during the year. The Jewish concept of sin is not like the Christian concept of original sin. Rather, it’s the kind of everyday offenses like hurting those we love, lying to ourselves or using foul language that Judaism views as sinful. You can clearly see examples of these infractions in the Yom Kippur liturgy, for instance in this excerpt from Al Khet: 


For the sin that we have committed under stress or through choice;
For the sin that we have committed in stubbornness or in error;
For the sin that we have committed in the evil meditations of the heart;
For the sin that we have committed by word of mouth;
For the sin that we have committed through abuse of power;
For the sin that we have committed by exploitation of neighbors;
For all these sins, O God of forgiveness, bear with us, pardon us, forgive us!



When Al Khet is recited people gently beat their fists against their chests as each sin is mentioned. Sins are mentioned in plural form because even if someone hasn’t committed a particular sin, Jewish tradition teaches that every Jew bears a measure of responsibility for the actions of other Jews.


During the afternoon portion of the Yom Kippur service the Book of Jonah is read to remind people of God’s willingness to forgive those who are sincerely sorry. The last part of the service is called Ne’ilah (Shutting). The name comes from the imagery of Ne’ilah prayers, which talk about gates being shut against us. People pray intensely during this time, hoping to be admitted to God’s presence before the gates have been shut.


Fasting


 


Yom Kippur is also marked by 25 hours of fasting. 


Girls who are 12 years or older and boys who are 13 years or older are required to participate in the full 25-hour fast along with adults. However, pregnant women, women who have recently given birth and anyone suffering from a life-threatening illness have to ask for advice from a Rabbi on how to observe the Fast. Judaism values life above the observance of Jewish law.


For exact times in your area go to:


http://www.chabad.org/calendar/candlelighting_cdo/aid/6226/jewish/Shabbat-Candle-Lighting-Times.htm



My Russian Video is available at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8sTlzCqz0s

The Yom Kippur Fast Ends on Saturday, Sept. 30, at 7:25 pm (NY time)



May you be blessed to end the fast with a feeling of deep serenity, which comes from having made peace with people in your life and with the Almighty!  





For more information visit: http://www.partnersintorah.org/uploads/yk6009.pdf

Monday, September 18, 2017

This year Rosh Hashana Begins Wednesday night, September 20, 2017 - ends Friday, September 22, 2017 at sunset ...Shabath follows the Holiday




A Very Very Simple Guide for Rosh Hashana Celebration
Image result for rosh hashanah images

(This Document contains G-d's Name, therefore it may NOT be thrown out)
1.

Lighting of the Candles

Women (or if there isn't a woman in the house, the head of the household), light candles.

Blessings for the evenings September 20, 2017 (6.41 pm Philadelphia Time) and September 21, 2017(after 8:09 Philadelphia Time):
1) Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-olam asher ki-deshanu be-mitzvo-tav ve-tzvi-vanu le-hadlik ner shel Yom Tov Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us to light the candle of the Holiday.


[Note: When reciting the following blessing on the second night of the holiday, one should have in mind the new fruit which one will subsequently be eating after Kiddush.]


2) Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-olam she-heche-ya-nu ve-ki-yi-ma-nu ve-higi-a-nu liz-man ha-zeh.

Blessed are You, L-ord our G-d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.

2.
Evening Kiddush for Rosh Hashanah

Kiddush is recited while holding a cup of kosher wine or grape juice. (Challah should be on the table - covered)

1st prayer:


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe

borei p'ri hagafen (Amein)
Who creates the fruit of the vine (Amen)


Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe

asher bachar banu mikol am v'rom'manu mikol lashon
who has chosen us from among all people, and exalted us above every tongue

v'kid'shanu b'mitz'votav vatiten lanu Adonai Eloheinub'ahavah
and sanctified us with His commandments,and you gave us, Lord our God, with love

et yom
with love this day of

hazikaron hazeh yom t'ru'ah
remembrance, a day of shofar blowing

mik'ra kodesh zeikher litzi'at mitz'rayim
a holy convocation, a memorial of the exodus from Egypt

ki vanu vachar'ta v'otanu kidash'ta mikol ha'amim
Indeed, You have chosen us and made us holy from all peoples

ud'var'kha emet v'kayam la'ad
and Your word is true and established for ever

Barukh atah Adonai melekh al kol ha'aretz
Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King over all the world,

m'kadeish yisra'eil v'yom hazikaron. (Amein)
Who sanctifies Israel and the Day of Remembrance. (Amen)

2nd prayer:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לזְּמַן הַזֶּה.

Barukh atah Ad-onai, El-oheinu, melekh ha'olam shehecheyanu v'kiyimanu v'higi'anu laz'man hazeh.
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season (Amen)


2A

SECOND NIGHT ONLY -New Fruit
On the second night of Rosh Hashanah, a "new fruit," i.e., a seasonal fruit which we have not yet tasted since its season began, should be present on the table when the holiday candles are kindled and during the kiddush. While reciting the Shehecheyanu blessing after candle-lighting and after the kiddush, one should have the new fruit in mind.
This fruit is eaten following the kiddush, before washing for bread. Before partaking of the fruit we say the following blessing:
Ba-ruch a-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-olam bore pri ha-etz.
Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the tree.

3

ROUND Challah in Honey

Immediately following the kiddush (and on the second night, the eating of the new fruit), we perform the ritual washing for bread. Fill a large cup with water. Pass the cup to your left hand and pour three times over your right hand. Repeat by pouring on your left hand. As you wipe your hands recite the blessing:
Baruch atah A-donoy, Elo-heinu Melech Ha’Olam, asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu al netilat yadayim.
Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the universe, who sanctified with His Mitzvahs and commanded us on washing our hands.
When everyone has returned to the table, we raise the two challah loaves and recite the blessing:
Ba-ruch atah A-do-nay, E-lo-hei-nu Melech Ha-Olam, hamotzie le-chem min ha-are-tz.
[Blessed are You, L-rd, our G‑d, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.]
Cut the challah, dip it in honey, and have a bite. Pass around pieces and make sure everyone does the same.

4
Apples and Honey

During Rosh Hashanah, it is traditional to eat apples dipped in honey, to symbolize our hopes for a "sweet" new year. The apple is dipped in honey, the blessing for eating tree fruits is recited, the apple is tasted, and then the apples and honey prayer is recited.

 Barukh atah Ad-onai, El-oheinu, melekh ha'olam borei p'ri ha'eitz.
Blessed are you, L-rd, our G-d, king of the universe who creates the fruit of the tree. (Everyone says Amen)

Take a bite from the apple dipped in honey, then continue with the following:
y'hi ratzon mil'fanekha Adonai el-oheinu vei'-lohei avoteinu sh't'chadeish aleinu shanah tovah um'tukah
May it be Your will, L-rd our G-d and God of our ancestors that you renew for us a good and sweet year.
Image result for rosh hashanah images 
5
Symbolic Foods

A head of a fish is served. We say “May it be your will Eternal God that we should be at the head  and not at the tail”.

A pomegranate is eaten, symbolizing our wish to have a year full of mitzvot and good deeds. We say “May it be your will Eternal God that our year is filled with good deeds as a pomegranate is filled with luscious seeds”.
There is a custom to eat fish on Rosh Hashana. Fish multiply in great number. They never sleep. They swim in water. We hope the year will be one of plenty, just as fish are extremely fruitful. Just as fish never sleep, we hope to maintain a constant awareness of our mission in life. Since fish are underwater the evil eye cannot penetrate the depths, and we wish to be free of any negative wishes.

We also eat Leeks or Cabbage. These vegetables are known as karsi, related to the word karet, to cut off or destroy. As we eat it we say “May it be your will Eternal God that our enemies will be destroyed.”.
Beets are known as “silka,” related to the word “siluk,” meaning removal. The adversaries referred to in the prayer before eating the beet are the spiritual roadblocks created by the past year’s missteps that must be removed before a sweet New Year is granted. We say “May it be your will Eternal God that our adversaries will be removed.”
Dates are known as “tamri” is related to the word “tamri,” meaning consume or finish. This food is similar to the beets and leeks in that it is eaten with the intent that all enemies will end their detrimental wrath. We say “ May it be your will Eternal God that our enemies will be finished.
Throughout the meal, it is customary to also eat foods whose names in the vernacular allude to blessing and prosperity. For example, many have the custom of eating carrots because in Yiddish the word for carrots, meren, means to multiply.

6
Rosh Hashanah Cuisine

On Rosh Hashanah it is customary not to eat foods which are sour or tart (the gefilte fish will have to do without the horseradish...). Instead, the focus is on sweet foods, symbolizing our desire to have a sweet year, blessings and abundance. It is also customary not to eat nuts on Rosh Hashanah, as the numerical value of the Hebrew word for nuts ("egoz") is the same as the Hebrew word for sin ("chet").

7
Blessing After Meal
Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who, in His goodness, provides sustenance for the entire world with grace, with kindness, and with mercy. He gives food to all flesh, for His kindness is everlasting. Through His great goodness to us continuously we do not lack [food], and may we never lack food, for the sake of His great Name. For He, benevolent G-d, provides nourishment and sustenance for all, does good to all, and prepares food for all His creatures whom He has created, as it is said: You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. Blessed are You, L-rd, who provides food for all.
We offer thanks to You, L-rd our G-d, for having given as a heritage to our ancestors a precious, good and spacious land; for having brought us out, L-rd our G-d, from the land of Egypt, and redeemed us from the house of bondage; for Your covenant which You have sealed in our flesh; for Your Torah which You have taught us; for Your statutes which You have made known to us; for the life, favor, and kindness which You have graciously bestowed upon us; and for the food we eat with which You constantly nourish and sustain us every day, at all times, and at every hour.
For all this, L-rd our G-d, we give thanks to You and bless You. May Your Name be blessed by the mouth of every living being, constantly and forever, as it is written: When you have eaten and are satiated, you shall bless the L-rd your G-d for the good land which He has given you. Blessed are You, L-rd, for the land and for the sustenance.
Have mercy, L-rd our G-d, upon Israel Your people, upon Jerusalem Your city, upon Zion the abode of Your glory, upon the kingship of the house of David Your anointed, and upon the great and holy House over which Your Name was proclaimed. Our G-d, our Father, our Shepherd, nourish us, sustain us, feed us, and provide us with plenty; and speedily, L-rd our G-d, grant us relief from all our afflictions. L-rd our G-d, please do not make us dependent upon the gifts of mortal men nor upon their loans, but only upon Your full, open, holy, and generous hand, that we may never be shamed or disgraced. As the leader recites aloud the words Remember…for good life in the following paragraph, the others respond Amen as indicated.
Our G-d and G-d of our fathers, may there ascend, come, and reach; be seen, accepted, and heard; recalled and remembered before You the remembrance and recollection of us, the remembrance of our fathers, the remembrance of Mashiach the son of David Your servant, the remembrance of Jerusalem Your holy city, and the remembrance of all Your people the House of Israel, for deliverance, well-being, grace, kindness, mercy, good life, and peace, on this day of the festival of Remembrance. Remember us on this [day], L-rd our G-d, for good (Amen); be mindful of us on this [day] for blessing (Amen); help us on this [day] for good life (Amen). With the promise of deliverance and compassion, spare us and be gracious to us, and have mercy upon us and deliver us, for our eyes are directed to You; for You, G-d, are a gracious and merciful King. And rebuild Jerusalem the holy city speedily in our days. Blessed are You, L-rd, who in His mercy rebuilds Jerusalem. Amen.
Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, benevolent G-d, our Father, our King, our Strength, our Creator, our Redeemer, our Maker, our Holy One, the Holy One of Jacob, our Shepherd, the Shepherd of Israel, the King who is good and does good to all, each and every day. He has done good for us, He does good for us, and He will do good for us; He has bestowed, He bestows, and He will forever bestow upon us grace, kindness, and mercy; relief, salvation and success; blessing and deliverance; consolation, livelihood and sustenance; compassion, life, peace, and all goodness; and may He never cause us to lack any good. May the Merciful One reign over us forever and ever. May the Merciful One be blessed in heaven and on earth. May the Merciful One be praised for all generations, and pride Himself in us forever and to all eternity, and glorify Himself in us forever and ever. May the Merciful One provide our livelihood with honor.
May the Merciful One break the yoke of exile from our neck, and may He lead us upright to our land. May the Merciful One send abundant blessing into this house and upon this table at which we have eaten. May the Merciful One send us Elijah the prophet—may he be remembered for good—and let him bring us good tidings, deliverance, and consolation. May the Merciful One bless my father, my teacher, the master of this house, and my mother, my teacher, the mistress of this house; them, their household, their children, and all that is theirs; us, and all that is ours. Just as He blessed our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, “in all things,” “by all things,” with “all things,” so may He bless all of us together (the children of the Covenant) with a perfect blessing, and let us say, Amen. From heaven, may there be invoked upon him and upon us such merit as will bring enduring peace. May we receive blessing from the L-rd and kindness from G-d our deliverer, and may we find grace and good understanding in the eyes of G-d and man.
May the Merciful One let us inherit that day which is all good. May the Merciful One grant us the privilege of reaching the days of the Mashiach and the life of the World to Come. He is a tower of deliverance to His king, and bestows kindness upon His anointed, to David and his descendants forever. He who makes peace in His heavens, may He make peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.
Fear the L-rd, you His holy ones, for those who fear Him suffer no want. Young lions are in need and go hungry, but those who seek the L-rd shall not lack any good. Give thanks to the L-rd for He is good, for His kindness is everlasting. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. Blessed is the man who trusts in the L-rd, and the L-rd will be his security.

Important Addition for this Year:
Since Rosh Hashana goes straight into Shabbath, in order to cook for Shabbath one must perform an Eruv Tavshilin ritual.
What is the procedure for Eruv Tavshilin?
Before the beginning of Rosh Hashana one sets aside two types of food, one cooked and one baked. If one cannot obtain both items, a cooked item alone would be acceptable but a baked item alone would not suffice. The cooked item must be at least the size of a large olive (approximately half the size of a chicken’s egg) and the baked item should be at least the size of a chicken’s egg.
 "With this Eruv it should be permitted for us to bake, cook, insulate food, light a candle, and do any need from Yom Tov for Shabbat".

THE END OF THE OFFICIAL ROSH HASHANA DINNER. FOLLOW THE SAME STEPS BOTH NIGHTS

FAST OF GEDALIAH -SUNDAY, September 24, 2017
Fast begins at 5:24AM and ends at 7:35 PM
This is a public Fast Day on which we commemorate the murder of Gedaliah ben Achikam, the governor appointed by the Babylonian king as ruler of the Jews in Israel.
The days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are called the Ten Days of Repentanace. During these ten days, it is appropriate to do as many good deeds as possible. The Zodiac sign of this month of Tishrei is a pair of scales. Every Jew must look at these scales as though they are balanced and attempt to tip them in his favor through acts of loving kindness.  

For more information on Rosh Hashanah go to: http://www.partnersintorah.org/uploads/rh6009.pdf

 Mystical Observances to Bring More Joy to a New Year

By Rebbitzin Yamima Mizrachi

• It’s vital not to get angry on the first day of Rosh Hashanah. Don’t get stuck in worry, anger and definitely not in sadness. The way the year begins, is the way it will flow the coming year. Don’t allow yourself to speak badly.

• Before sitting down at the table look at everyone’s eyes and bless them each individually, feel forgiveness for everyone around you. Allow love and peace to enter your heart. Everyone should say a ‘L’Chaim’ out loud and bless each other with complete joy.

• The Rosh Hashanah the table should be filled with an abundance of colors, different types of foods.

• Apples & Honey: Use red apples, it is for an omen to find one’s soul mate/and for peace between spouses and for getting pregnant. It is an special holy time, before eating the apple, smell the apple and ask for whatever you want. It was at this time that Yakov received the blessing from his father Yitzchak. When he smelled Yakov he smelled the fragrance of Garden of Eden, of the apple, and even though he was undeserving of the blessing, due to the fact that it was supposed to go to his evil brother Esav, he still received it. Ask for anything you wish.

• Pomegranate: Ask G-d to bring out your potential. We all have never ending potential, do we use it all? Ask Almighty for help. Just like it’s hard to take apart the seeds, please G-d help us realize our potential and be who we are meant to be.

• Leeks, Beets, Dates: Ask G-d to take away any feelings of resentment, anger, bitterness towards anyone.  Ask Hashem to help us throw these feelings away from ourselves and remove them from our heart. Ask to enable you to be able to rebuild your feelings and relationship with these people.

• Fish Head: Ask G-d that you should lead your household and not anyone else (like our children who tend to control us…) when looking at the fish, ask Hashem to protect you from the evil eye.

• Get up early on Rosh Hashanah; this blesses the coming year with ease. A year that your wishes will be fulfilled quickly. Try to postpone your afternoon rest until after 1:00 PM.

• Very important to dress festively, even wear white and be HAPPY‼


• Before hearing the shofar accept upon yourselfLove your neighbor as you love yourself.  If you hold a grudge towards someone, the shofar will not be able to ascend and sweeten the judgments.

• Very important to shed a tear during the shofar and to wipe the tear over your forehead (to wipe away transgressions). This serves as a shield for the entire year against any bad things i.e. illness. Whoever is able to shed a tear then can be rest assured that she is being judged at that moment!

• Don’t eat anything sour or spicy on Rosh Hashanah, only sweet foods.  Everything that you do makes an impact on the entire year. Don’t use walnuts or black grapes.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -other suggestions:

1) Prepare table early in the afternoon, it is an omen that no troubles will come upon you the entire year.
2) Try not to speak idle talk, the morning of Rosh Hashanah. If possible fast as well; this way 1/3 of your transgressions will be wiped away.
3) Candles for Rosh Hashanah: before lighting give 18 of ‘something (coins, bills) to charity box: 18 cents, 18 dollars, etc. This serves as an atonement. Ask Hashem that if something bad is supposed to happen, let this charity stand as a protector against it.
4) Buy a new knife and use it on Rosh Hashanah eve to cut open the Challah and apple. It is an omen for a long life and for financial success.
5) Player after Meal: Say it with enthusiasm and joy, it is a good luck for financial abundance

6) Recite the Tehilim (Psalms of David) specifically Psalms 1-4 before sleeping on both nights to prevent bad dreams.
7) Buy a new dress/clothing for Rosh Hashanah.


A BEAUTIFUL INSPIRATIONAL STORY FOR ROSH HASHANA

I served in the Israeli Navy in a submarine. Under the water, the means of communication is with the Morse code. (Morse code is a signal system comprised of sounds. Two sharp beeps represents one letter, two long beeps is another letter. One long beep and one short one is a third letter, and so on.) I was an expert in the Morse code. I could send and decipher messages very quickly. "A couple of years after serving in the navy (and after spending a long time in India) I saw an advertisement: The army was looking for a Morse code expert to be in charge of several submarines. To apply for the job, we had to be at a certain office between 10:00 and 12:00 in the morning. I arrived at 11:50. I saw a packed room with applicants, but no one was being called inside. There was music was playing in the background and I sat down for a few moments, and listened. Then I got up, brazenly opened the door to the office and said, 'I came for the interview." "There are many people waiting in line ahead of you," the secretary said. "And you just came. Wait your turn." "But I didn’t listen to her. I walked into the room and talked with the person who was in charge. After speaking for a few moments, I was hired for the job." The interviewer went out to the waiting room and told everyone that they can go home. "Thank you all for coming and I'm sorry about the delay. We've already chosen someone. You can all go home." "It isn't fair. This man came in last. Why did you interview him before us?" "Did you pay attention to the music that's playing? Listen carefully. Don’t you get it? It is in Morse code and it's saying, 'If you've come for the interview, just open the door and come inside.' This man heard the message. You didn’t hear, so you're obviously not fluent enough in the language." That's how the irreligious man in the hospital understood the meaning of shofar (and we're sharing it here because his interpretation is beautiful and true). The shofar is speaking a language. It's telling us, "Just open the door and come inside. Change your ways and improve your connection with G-d." We only need to understand the language of the shofar and understand what it's telling us. One person waiting in the waiting room said, "I actually heard the Morse code in the music, but I decided not to open the door because I saw that no one else was." "That's not a valid excuse," the interviewer told him. "If you heard the message, you should have come in. Why do you care what other people are doing?" Similarly, concerning the shofar, it will be inexcusable to say, "I heard the shofar's message, I understood that it was calling me, but I decided not to since I don’t see other people repenting." That's not a valid excuse. If you understand the shofar's message, you should open the door and come close to Almighty God, regardless of what others are doing.