Rosh HaShanah

The Season of Healing

Alden Solovy

This is the season of healing:
Of healing our hearts and minds,
Of healing the moments we share with each other
And the moments we share with ourselves.

This is the season of memory:
Of remembering our parents and grandparents,
The love of generations,
The holiness of our ancestors.

This is the season of stillness,
The season of silence and quiet:
Of deep breaths,
Of open eyes,
Of compassion and consolation.

This is the season of healing:
The season of grief turning to wonder,
Of loss turning toward hope,
The season that binds this year to the next,
The season that frees this year from the next,
The season that heralds the redemption of spirit
And our return to God’s Holy Word.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day.

Alden Solovy is a liturgist, poet, and teacher. His teaching spans from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem to Limmud UK and synagogues throughout the U.S. Before making aliyah to Israel in 2012, Alden was a member of Beth Emet-The Free Synagogue, Evanston, IL, and a regular participant in worship at B'nai Jeshoshua Beth Elohim, Deerfield, IL. He’s the author of Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. His writing also appears in several CCAR Press books, including an anthology of his work, This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day.

An Alternate Un’taneh Tokef

Rabbi Joseph B. Meszler

On Rosh HaShanah it is written, on Yom Kippur it is sealed:

That this year people will live and die,
some more gently than others
and nothing lives forever.
But amidst overwhelming forces
of nature and humankind,
we still write our own Book of Life,
and our actions are the words in it,
and the stages of our lives are the chapters,
and nothing goes unrecorded, ever.
Every deed counts.                
Everything you do matters.
And we never know what act or word
will leave an impression or tip the scale.
So, if not now, then when?
For the things that we can change, there is t’shuvah, realignment,
For the things we cannot change, there is t’filah, prayer,
For the help we can give, there is tzedakah, justice.
Together, let us write a beautiful Book of Life
for the Holy One to read.

Rabbi Joseph B. Meszler is the spiritual leader of Temple Sinai in Sharon, MA.


A Rosh HaShanah Prayer for Our Clergy

Alden Solovy
For Our Clergy

As the New Year approaches, let it be our job to feed our clergy with love and care. Let it be our sacred calling to lift them up as they lift us. 

Our clergy carry our communities on their backs. Funerals and weddings the same week. Torah conversations with b’nai mitzvot, private conversations with the newly-divorced and hospital visits on the same day. It can be an emotional whip-saw and an intellectual drain.

The list goes on. Preparing sermon after sermon. Eulogy after eulogy. Counseling couples. Baby namings. Brit milah. Learning new Torah to teach Torah afresh. Representing the Jewish community in interfaith and civic settings. Writing new music. Caring for our Hebrew schools and adult education classes.

It’s real. It’s personal. It’s as steady as the flow of life and death. It can take a toll spiritually, emotionally, professionally. Sometimes, even the most caring and energetic clergy can run out of gas.

At almost every difficult moment of my life, a rabbi has been at my side. At almost every moment of celebration, a rabbi has been there. These are sacred callings.

As the New Year approaches, let it be our job, as congregants, to feed our clergy with love and care. Let it be our sacred calling to lift them up as they lift us. Let us see with fresh and grateful eyes the hard work and the loving hearts that they commit to us.

For Our Clergy

God of sacred callings,
Bless the work of our clergy,
Who carry us through our lives,
Our joys and our sorrows,
In holy service,
Our broken hearts,
Our festive moments,
And our deepest yearnings.

May their dedication serve as shining lamp of love.
May the works of their hands bring merit in heaven.
Bless them with health and long life.
Guard them from taking our traumas into themselves.
Protect them from loneliness and isolation,
Shielding them from the spiritual and emotional pain
That can come with a life of service.
May they have find peace and comfort in their own moments of need.

Blessed are You,
God of All,
Who, with love, provides the world
Dedicated leaders of faith.

Alden Solovy is a liturgist, poet, and teacher. His teaching spans from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem to Limmud UK and synagogues throughout the U.S. Before making aliyah to Israel in 2012, Alden was a member of Beth Emet-The Free Synagogue, Evanston, IL, and a regular participant in worship at B'nai Jeshoshua Beth Elohim, Deerfield, IL. He’s the author of Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. His writing also appears in several CCAR Press books, including the newly published anthology of his work, This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day.

View all posts by Alden Solovy

Festival Candle Lighting: Passover, Shavuot, Rosh HaShanah, and Sukkot

Candle Lighting

The candles are lit before the blessing is recited.  On Shabbat, include the words in parentheses.

The first recording below is the candle blessing for a weekday; the second recording is for the candle blessing when the festival falls on Shabbat.

Hebrew text for the blessing for the lighting of the candles for Yom Tov with parenthetical inclusion for Shabbat

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu l'hadlik ner shel (Shabbat v'shel) Yom Tov.

Blessed are You, our God, Ruler of the world, who sanctifies us with mitzvot and calls upon us to kindle the lights of (Shabbat and) the Festival day.

Rosh HaShanah Evening Blessings: Kiddush - Blessing over the Wine


Blessing over the wine and sanctification of the day. 

Hebrew Text for the Blessing over the Wine on the Evening of Rosh HaShanah

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, borei p'ri hagafen.

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, asher bachar banu mikol-am, v’rom’manu mikol-lashon, kid'shanu b'mitzvotav. Va-titen-lanu Adonai Eloheinu, b’ahavah et-yom ha-zikaron ha-zeh, yom T’ruah, mikrah kodesh, zacher li-tzi-at Mitrayim. Ki vanu vacharta, v'otanu kidashta, mikol haamim, ud’vrachah emet v’kayam la-ad. Baruch atah, Adonai, Melech al kol ha-aretz, mikadesh Yisrael v’yom hazikaron.

Praise to You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

Praise to You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe, who has chosen us from all the peoples, hallowing us with mitzvot. In Your love, Adonai our God, You have given us this Day of Remembrance, to hear the sound of the Shofar, to unite in worship, and to recall the Exodus from Egypt. For You have chosen us from all the peoples, consecrating us to Your service, and Your word is truth eternal. Praised is the Sovereign God, Sovereign of all the world, who hallows the House of Israel and the Day of Remembrance.



Thanking God for allowing us to reach this day.

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, shehecheyanu v’kiy’manu v’higianu laz’man hazeh.

Praise to You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe, for giving us life, for sustaining us, and for enabling us to reach this season.

Worship Services: Sh'ma

Referred to as our "watchword of faith," it declares our belief in one God. This prayer serves as the centerpiece of morning and evening services.

Sh’ma Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad!

Sh’ma Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad!

Hear, O Israel, Adonai is our God, Adonai is One!

Baruch shem k’vod malchuto l’olam va-ed.

Blessed is God’s glorious majesty forever and ever.

Listen to the Sh'ma read


Listen to the Sh'ma chanted


Rosh HaShanah Worship Services: Haftarah Blessings

Special inserts included in the final paragraph for Rosh HaShanah

The blessing after the reading of haftarah always sanctifies the day on which it is read. Throughout most of the year, that day is Shabbat, but haftarah is also read on the High Holidays. On Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur the text changes from the familiar Shabbat text to refer to the holiday. If either Rosh HaShanah or Yom Kippur falls on Shabbat, then the blessing mentions both the holiday and Shabbat. These changes only occur in the final paragraph of the blessing after the haftarah. The blessing before the haftarah does not change.

> Read the blessing recited before chanting the Haftarah


Hebrew Text for the Blessing following the Reading of the Haftarah on Rosh HaShanah

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam
tzur kol haolamim tzaddik b’chol hadorot,
haEil haneeman, haomer v’oseh,
ham’dabeir um’kayeim, shekol d’varav emet vatzedek.

Al haTorah, v’al haavodah, v’al han’viim,
(v’al yom HaShabbat hazeh), v’al Yom HaZikaron hazeh,
shenatata lanu, Adonai Eloheinu,
(lik’dushah v’lim’nuchah), l’chavod ul’tifaret.
Al hakol Adonai Eloheinu, anachnu modim lach, um’var’chim otach.
Yitbarach shimcha b’fi kol chai tamid l’olam vaed.
Ud'varcha emet v'kayam la'ad.
Baruch atah, Adonai, Melech al kol haaretz,
m’kadeish (HaShabbat v’) Yisrael vYom HaZikaron.

Without the Shabbat insertions:
With the Shabbat insertions:

Rosh HaShanah Blessings: On Apples and Honey to Celebrate the New Year

Special blessings for a sweet new year

Pick up a slice of apple, dip it in honey, and say:

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, borei p’ri ha-eitz.

We praise You, Eternal God, Sovereign of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the tree.

Then add:

Y’hi ratzon milfanecha, Adonai Eloheinu v’Elohei
avoteinu v’imoteinu, shetchadesh aleinu shanah tovah um’tukah.

May it be Your will, Eternal our God, that this be a good and sweet year for us.

Eat the apple dipped in honey.

Your family also may want to enjoy challah dipped in honey. Some families include a pomegranate as a treat before the meal. It is said that the number of seeds in the pomegranate reflects the number of good deeds that you will do in the coming year. Enjoy your holiday meal!

Daily Blessings: Birkat HaMazon (Grace After Meals) - Long Version

Chaverim vachaveirot nvareich!

Chaverim vachaveirot n'vareich!


Y'hi shem Adonai m'vorach mei-atah v'ad olam

Praised be the name of God, now and forever


Y'hi shem Adonai m'vorach mei-atah v'ad olam.
Birshut hachevrah, 
n'vareich Eloheinu she-achalnu mishelo.

Praised be the name of God, now and forever.
Praised be our God, of whose abundance we have eaten.


Baruch Eloheinu she-achalnu mishelo uv'tuvo chayinu.

Praised be our God, of whose abundance we have eaten, and by whose goodness we live.


Baruch Eloheinu she-achalnu mishelo uv'tuvo chayinu.
Baruch hu uvaruch sh'mo.

Praised be our God, of whose abundance we have eaten, and by whose goodness we live. Praised be the Eternal God.


Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam,
hazan et haolam kulo b'tuvo, b'chein b'chesed uv'rachamim.
Hu notein lechem l'chol basar ki l'olam chasdo.
Uv'tuvo hagadol tamid lo chasar lanu,
v'al yechsar lanu, mazon l'olam va-ed,
baavur sh'mo hagadol.
Ki hu El zan um'farneis lakol umeitiv lakol,
umeichin mazon l'chol b'riyotav asher bara.
Baruch atah Adonai, hazan et hakol.

Sovereign God of the universe, we praise You: Your goodness sustains the world. You are the God of grace, love, and compassion, the Source of bread for all who live; for Your love is everlasting. In Your great goodness we need never lack for food; You provide food enough for all. We praise You, O God, Source of food for all who live.

Nodeh l'cha, Adonai Eloheinu,
al shehinchalta laavoteinu ul'imoteinu
eretz chemdah tovuh ur'chavah;
v'al shehotzeitanu, Adonai Eloheinu mei-eretz Mitzrayim;
uf'ditanu mibeit avadim;
v'al b'rit'cha shechatamta bilvaveinu;
v'al Torat'cha shelimadtanu, v'al chukecha shehodatanu,
v'al chayim chein vachesed shechonantanu,
v'al achilat mazon shaatah zan um'farneis otanu tamid,
b'chol yom uv'chol eit uv'chol shaah.

For this good earth that You have entrusted to our mothers and fathers, and to us; for our deliverance from bondage; for the covenant You have sealed into our hearts; for Your life-giving love and grace; for Torah, our way of life, and for the food that sustains us day by day, we give You thanks.

V'al hakol, Adonai Eloheinu, anachnu modim lach
um'var'chim otach. Yitbarach shimcha
b'fi chol chai tamid l'olam va-ed,
kakatuv: V'achalta v'savata, uveirachta et Adonai Elohecha
al haaretz hatovah asher natan lach.
Baruch atah Adonai, al haaretz v'al hamazon.

For all this we thank You. Let Your praise ever be on the lips of all who live, as it is written: "When you have eaten and are satisfied, give praise to your God who has given you this good earth." We praise You, O God, for the earth, and for its sustenance.

Racheim, Adonai Eloheinu, al Yisrael amecha,
v'al Y'rushalayim irecha, v'al Tziyon mishkan k'vodecha.
Eloheinu Avinu, r'einu zuneinu, parn'seinu v'chalk'leinu
v'harvicheinu, v'harvach lanu, Adonai Eloheinu,
m'heirah mikol tzaroteinu.
V'na al tatzricheinu, Adonai Eloheinu,
lo lidei mat'nat basar vadam v'lo lidei halvaatam,
ki im l'yad'cha ham'lei-ah hap'tuchah hak'doshah v'har'chavah,
shelo neivosh v'lo nikaleim l'olam va-ed.

Eternal God, Source of our being, show compassion for Israel Your people, Jerusalem Your city, and Zion, the ancient dwelling-place of Your glory. Guide and sustain us in all our habitations, and be a help to us in all our troubles. May we ever be able to help ourselves and one another, even as we rely on Your open and generous bounty.

On Shabbat:

R'tzeih v'hachalitzeinu, Adoani Eloheinu, b'mitzvotecha
uv'mitzvat yom hash'vi-i
haShabbat hagadol v'hakadosh hazeh,
ki yom zeh gadol v'kadosh hu l'fanecha,
lishbot bo v'lanuach bo b'ahavah k'mitvat r'tzonecha.
Uvir'tzon'cha haniach lanu, Adonai Eloheinu,
shelo t'hei tzarah v'yagon vaanachah b'yom m'nuchateinu.
V'hareinu, Adonai Eloheinu, b'nechamat Tziyon irecha
uv'vinyan Y'rushalayim ir kodshecha,
ki atah hu baal hay'shuot uvaal hanechamot.

Eternal God, strengthen our resolve to live by Your mitzvot, and especially the mitzvah of the seventh day, the great and holy Sabbath, the day of rest and serenity, of loving reflection upon Your will. Source of deliverance and of consolation, give us this day rest from sorrow, anguish, and pain, and renew our vision of a more beautiful world.

Uv'neih Y'rushalayim ir hakodesh bimheirah v'yameinu.
Baruch atah Adonai, boneh v'rachamav Y'rushalayim. Amen.

Let Jerusalem, the holy city, be renewed in our time. We praise You, Adonai , in compassion You rebuild Jerusalem. Amen.

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam,
he-El Avinu Malkeinu Adireinu,
Bor'einu, Goaleinu, Yotz'reinu, K'dosheinu, K'dosh Yaakov,
Ro-einu Ro-eih Yisrael, HaMelech hatov v'hameitiv lakol,
sheb'chol yom vayom hu heitiv, hu meitiv, hu yeitiv lanu.
Hu g'malanu, hu gom'leinu, hu yigm'leinu laad,
l'chein ul'chesed ul'rachamim ul'revach, hatzalah v'hatzlachah,
b'rachah vishuah, nechamah, parnasah, v'chalkalah,
v'rachamim v'chayim v'shalom, v'chol tov,
umikol tov l'olam al y'chas'reinu.

We praise You, divine Parent of Israel, Source of liberating power and vision, of all that is holy and good. You have shown us love and kindness always; day by day You grant us grace and compassion, deliverance and freedom, prosperity and blessing, life and peace.

HaRachaman, hu yimloch aleinu l 'olam va-ed.
HaRachaman, hu yitbarach bashamayim uvaaretz.
HaRachaman, hu yishtabach l'dor dorim,
v'yitpaar banu laad ul'neitzach n'tzachim,
v'yit-hadar banu laad ul'ol'mei olamim.
HaRachaman, hu y'vareich et m'dinat Yisrael v'et acheinu v'achayoteinu b'rochvei haolam.
HaRachaman, hu y'farn'seinu b'chavod.
HaRachaman, hu yishbor uleinu mei-al tzavareinu,
v'hu yolicheinu kom'miyut l'artzeinu.
HaRachaman, hu yishlach b'rachah m'rubah babayit hazeh,
v'al shulchan zeh she-achalnu alav.
HaRachaman, hu yishlach lanu et Eliyahu HaNavi,
zachur latov, vivaser lanu b'sorot tovot, y'shuot v'nechamot.
HaRachaman, hu y'zakeinu limot hag'ulah
ul'chayei haolam haba.

Merciful One, be our God forever. Merciful One, heaven and earth alike are blessed by Your presence. Merciful One, let all generations proclaim Your glory. Merciful One, bless the State of Israel and our brothers and sisters throughout the world. Merciful One, help us to sustain ourselves in honor. Merciful One, break the yoke of oppression from off our necks. Merciful One, bless this house, this table at which we have eaten. Merciful One, send us tidings of Elijah, glimpses of good to come, redemption and consolation. Merciful One, find us worthy of witnessing a time of redemption and of attaining eternal life.

HaRachaman, hu y'vareich otanu v'et kol asher lanu,
k'mo shenitbar'chu avoteinu Avraham, Yitzchak, v'Yaakov,
v'imoteinu Sarah, Rivkah, Racheil v'Lei-ah, bakol mikol kol,
kein y'vareich otanu kulanu yachad,
bivrachah sh'leimah, v'nomar:Amen.

Merciful One, bless us and all our dear ones; as You blessed our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Sarah, Rebekah, Leah, and Rachel, so bless us, one and all; and let us say: Amen.

Bamarom y'lam'du aleihem v'aleinu z'chut, shet'hei l'mishmeret shalom,
v'nisa v'rachah mei-eit Adonai, utz'dakah meiElohei yisheinu,
v'nimtza chein v'seichel tov b'einei Elohim v'adam.

May we receive blessings from the Eternal One, kindness from God our help, and may we all find divine and human grace and favor.

HaRachaman, hu yanchileinu yom shekulo Shabbat
um'nuchah l'chayei haolamim.

Merciful One, help us to see the coming of a time when all is Shabbat.

Oseh shalom bimromav, hu yaaseh shalom,
aleinu v'al kol Yisrael, v'imru amen.

May the Source of peace grant peace to us, to all Israel, and to all the world. Amen.

Hodu l'Adonai ki tov, ki l'olam chasdo.
Potei-ach et yadecha, umasbia l'chol chai ratzon.
Baruch hagever asher yivtach b'Adonai,
v'hayah Adonai mivtacho.

Give thanks to God, who is good, whose love is everlasting, whose hand is open to feed all that lives. Blessed are you who trust in God, who make God your stronghold.

Adonai oz l'amo yitein, Adonai y'vareich et amo vashalom.

Eternal God: give strength to Your people; Eternal God: bless Your people with peace.


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