High Holidays

Yachad: Connecting Jews to the High Holidays, their Heritage and Each Other The High Holidays are a time when Jews of all backgrounds seek meaning and opportunities to connect – even Israelis who identify as secular or who may feel alienated from synagogues and Jewish institutions they view as “religious.”  During this uniquely reflective time …

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Family in Mexico opposite aron kodesh

Mexico City Jewish community embraces ceremony amidst coronavirus restrictions Amid coronavirus pandemic restrictions, Jewish community of Mexico City embraces unique ceremony during holiday season. Arutz 7 | September 29, 2020 As the Jewish world across the Diaspora commemorates a truly unprecedented high holiday season, many communities are searching for ways to ensure the period is …

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Israelis Prepare to Celebrate the Year’s Holiest Days Under Lockdown As the pandemic in the country worsens, officials warn that new restrictions might not be enough to cut infection rates significantly. Many people question the logic and motives behind the rules. By Isabel Kershner | Sept. 18, 2020 JERUSALEM — As Israelis prepare to celebrate …

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Rabbi Birnbaum in his study

High Holidays Especially Important to Diaspora Jewry This Year For many Diaspora Jews Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur play a defining role in their Jewish identity. This year, Covid-19 restrictions endanger this connecting thread. Testimonies from shlichim across the globe. By Rabbi Eliahu Birnbaum, Director of OTS’ Beren-Amiel and Straus-Amiel Emissary Programs | 13 September, …

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Can You Hear Me? Multiple Meanings of the Sound of the Shofar Rabbanit Sally Mayer, Rosh Midrasha, Maria & Joel Finkle Overseas Program at Midreshet Lindenbaum The sound of the shofar is always shocking at first, piercing the synagogue during the month of Elul, reminding us that Rosh Hashanah is near. It seems like ages …

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From Soul Searching to Holy Joy: the Festivals of Tishrei in the Shadow of COVID-19 Rabbanit Devorah Evron, Director of the Susi Bradfield Women’s Institute for Halakhic Leadership One of the magical moments in the month of Tishrei is immediately following Yom Kippur, when we begin building the sukkah. The Holy Day is behind us, …

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Despite this Challenging Year, Still Seeking a Personal Rendezvous with God Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander, President and Rosh HaYeshiva There is a tradition to recite Psalm 47 as an introduction to the sounding of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah, based on a statement in Masechet Sofrim (19:2) — כף תקעו העמים כל אומר השנה ובראש …

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Who by Earthquake and Who by Plague? Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Riskin Founder, Chancellor Emeritus and Rosh HaYeshiva We enter this Rosh HaShanah 5781 with heavy hearts in Israel, in the midst of a second wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic Plague which has, as of the first week in September, claimed the lives of more than …

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U’Netaneh Tokef: Opening our Hearts and Creating Hope Pnina Omer Director, Yad La’isha: The Monica Dennis Goldberg Legal Aid Center for Agunot For many months now we have been living with a sense of powerlessness in the face of a global pandemic. The spread of COVID-19 throughout the world has badly shaken humanity’s sense of …

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Believing in Ourselves: Yom Kippur as a Day of Joy Rabbi Shay Nave, Director of the Yachad Program for Jewish Identity We all seek Divine chesed and personal joy in our lives, especially during a time in which there is so much pain, uncertainty and apprehension about Divine judgment in the world. Given these feelings, …

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Prayers that Reflect our Reality: A Rosh Hashanah for all of Humanity Rabbi Shuki Reich Rosh Kollel, Joseph and Gwendolyn Straus Rabbinical Seminary Rosh Machon, Susi Bradfield Women’s Institute for Halakhic Leadership Senior Talmud Lecturer, Midreshet Lindenbaum Rosh Hashanah Prayers: The Universal and the Particular A common theme of the prayers on Rosh Hashanah is …

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Especially during this year of challenge, turmoil, uncertainty and heartbreak, we are pleased to be able to share with you this pamphlet of relevant and topical insights from the stellar members of the OTS faculty. Click on the image above to download a specially-condensed, halakhic machzor (prayer book) for Yom Kippur, that responds to the …

Read moreInspiration for the High Holidays

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