The traditional High Holy Day prayer book, as opposed to the Reform versions produced in the last century and more, includes a service, musaf, that evokes the ancient sacrifices. Reform Judaism abandoned this service, due to its musty connotations of “barbarian” rites but a key element of this service on Rosh Hashanah, the sounding of the shofar was maintained. Sounding of the shofar was retained no doubt because the very essence of Rosh Hashanah is bound up in the peal of the shofar. Can you imagine Rosh Hashanah without it
The blowing of the shofar is surely one of the high points of the Rosh Hashanah morning service. But the “Shofar Service” as the discrete entity we know today is actually a creation of Reform liturgists. Located at the end of the Torah service, before the Torah is returned to the ark, and including the three sections of Malchiyot (biblical verses dealing with God’s Sovereignty), Zichronot (biblical verses dealing with God’s Attentiveness), andShofarot (biblical verses dealing with the sounding of the Shofar), this is a synthesis of two different pieces of traditional liturgy
Chapter 23 of Leviticus begins ... "And G-d spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the people of Israel, and say to them, the feasts of Adonai, which you shall proclaim to be holy gatherings, these are my feasts." The 44 verses of this chapter outline the schedule, and some of the rituals, for Shabbat, Passover, Shavuot, Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot.
I began my journey to Judaism nervously. Unlike the Charedim (ultra-Orthodox) who are anxious before the word of God, I was anxious in the uncertainty of the future.
This week brings us Yom Y'rushalayim (May 8 / 28 Iyar), one of several Jewish holidays commemorating events of war in the modern State of Israel. This one recalls Israel's "recovery" of the Old City of Jerusalem during the Six Day War in 1967.
I grew up in a home with my single mother and two sisters. My mother had one sister, two nieces, and one nephew. When my mother died, our synagogue shipped in the men of the traveling shiva minyan to say Kaddish for her the night of her funeral.