May your name be inscribed in the Book of Life

The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, ushers in a solemn ten day period of soul searching and penitence. The blowing of the shofar (ram’s horn), signals the call to repentance. According to Rabbinic tradition three books are opened on Rosh Hashanah. One records the names of the wicked who, on account of their wilful and defiant transgression of God’s […]

Rosh Hashana

Rosh Hashana literally means head of the year. The Biblical designation of this feast that is celebrated as the start of the new year is Yom Teru’ah (Day of trumpets): “On the first day of the seventh month hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. It is a day for you to sound the trumpets” […]

Rosh Hashana – Happy New Year?

by Alexander Marks A time of soul searching and sadness Why is the Jewish New Year a time of sadness and weeping whereas the Gentile New Year’s Day is a time of gaiety and rejoicing? Unlike the Gentile New Year’s Day, Rosh Hashana is a time of soul-searching and sadness. On this day, according to […]

Yom Kippur – Pointing to the final atonement

Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. (Psalm 32) Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement, is the most solemn day in the Jewish calendar, the day in which atonement was […]

Atonement – How can I be sure?

By Raymond Cohen The most solemn of all Jewish Holy Days are those which commemorate Rosh Hashana (New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). These occur in the seventh month (Tishrei) and cover a span of ten days. The ram’s horn (shofar) sounds and calls the people to a most solemn, soul-searching experience in […]

Do all Israel have a part in the world to come?

The days before Yom Kippur are the days of reflection, in which our eternal fate hangs in the balance. During these days of awe and self examination, all Israel stands before the Supreme Judge, wanting the assurance that our names have been inscribed in the Book of Life. If repentance is sincere we must be […]