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Archive for High Holy Days

Yair Rosenblum’s Unetaneh Tokef

Unetaneh Tokef is one of the central prayers for the Yamim Noraim, and one of the most familiar tunes for it is that which was written by Yair Rosenblum. Rosenblum is one of the most important figures in the history of Israeli music and in 1990 he was living on Kibbutz Beit Hashitah in the […]

The Meaning of Ma’avirin et Ro’a HaGezeirah from Unetaneh Tokef

My colleague, Rabbi Jeff Hoffman, has written a post about the meaning of the phrase “Ma’avirin et Ro’a HaGezeirah” from Unetaneh Tokef. For many generations, there have been commentators – including Ramban (12th c.)[3] and R. Yitzchak Arama (15th c.), among many others – that have taken issue with the theology of the prayer. Many […]

David Broza Singing Kol Nidre

From Lab/Shul’s Kol Nidre service. Thanks to my sister-in-law for sending me the link.

Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef on Traveling to Uman

Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef graciously criticizes (Hebrew) those who abandon their families in order to go to Rabbi Nachman of Breslov’s grave on Rosh Ha-Shannah. For those interested in Rav Ovadiah’s place within Israeli culture, the comments on the video from his Facebook page are in a way just as interesting as what he said. For […]

Intravenous Feeding on Yom Kippur

The New York Times has an article on people who are most likely obligated to eat on Yom Kippur because of illness, but nevertheless choose to be hooked up to an intravenous drip instead. In recent years, hundreds of frail Jews have turned to intravenous feeding on Yom Kippur, which begins Tuesday at sundown and […]

Yom Kippur 5772-El Norah Alilah

May those who are observing Yom Kippur have a meaningful fast and holiday. Below is a recording of the piyyut El Norah Alilah (אל נורא עלילה) that is sung at the Neilah service that ends Yom Kippur. For no one who has ever prayed in synagogue that followed one of the Sephardic customs, this is […]

Government Regulation of Synagogue Honors

Jewish Ideas Daily recently published an article by Jack Wertheimer, Pay to Pray? Wertheimer discusses the synagogue dues structure and how it is changing. A number of years ago a law was proposed in the Knesset that would regular synagogue honors. The law was called, הצעת חוק לקביעת תעריפים מירביים בבתי הכנסת (“Proposed Law to […]

Tefillin at Minha on Erev Yom Kippur

Over the holiday I saw an advertisement for a Syrian synagogue, Magen David of Union Square, that described minḥa before Yom Kippur as being “with tefillin.” I had never heard of this custom before and a little searching found some discussion of this custom. In the always helpful Keter Shem Tov I found the following: […]

Forgotten Shofar Blowing and the Stam

In Musaf Shabbat of Makor Rishon, Carmiel Cohen reviewed (Hebrew) a double-issue of Sidra that was devoted to Prof. Aryeh Steinfeld. Cohen wrote at length about two articles that appeared in this issue. The first is by Mordechai Akiva Friedman and is about the possibility that other shofar blowings for Rosh ha-Shannah existed in the […]

Shofar Flash Mob

Art Kibbutz NY organized a shofar flash mob in a number of locations around the world this past Sunday. The first video is a montage from a number of locations. The second video is from the flash mob near Lincoln Center in NYC. Pay special attention to the odd character blowing multiple shofarot at 2:55-3:10 […]

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