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Ki Teitzei

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Editor's Note: The Best Way to Prepare for Rosh Hashanah

Dear Friend,

Rosh Hashanah is coming, followed by Yom Kippur, then Sukkot, and then Simchat Torah.

It’s an exciting time. And it’s expensive.

At this time of year, the Rebbe, of righteous memory, would often point out that we must remember our fellow Jews for whom the holiday preparations present a serious financial burden. There are certainly families in your area who struggle nightly to put food on the table, let alone to put together a sumptuous holiday meal.

So as you plan your meal invites, please include a family or individual in need. Many synagogues and Chabad centers are collecting funds to help the less fortunate among us celebrate with ease. If you can, please call and offer to help. If you are able, volunteer to pack or deliver food baskets. It’s the best way you can prepare for the holidays.

And if you are on the receiving end this time around, please accept our prayers that this year bring you the good fortune and joy you so deserve!

May we all be blessed with a good, sweet, happy, healthy new year.

Mendy Kaminker,
on behalf of the Editorial Team

With whom will you be celebrating this Rosh Hashanah? Please share with us. We’d love to hear from you.

Your Questions
Why Do We Eat a Fish Head on Rosh Hashanah?

There is a custom to eat the head of a fish on the night of Rosh Hashanah. What does this actually mean? I can’t make head or tail of it . . .
Why Are Shofars from Rams’ Horns?

I understand that that the Torah tells us that there is a mitzvah to blow a horn on Rosh Hashanah, but why is it specifically a ram’s horn? Is that a mitzvah, or just tradition?
What’s With the Candles?

When you use something physical, it gets “used up” and diminished. With spiritual things, the very opposite is the case
Who Cares?

Here was a nation that had experienced the greatest miracles of all time: the ten plagues, the splitting of the Red Sea and the manna. And yet they were not impervious to the plague of doubt . . .
Tasting Rewards

Working the grain field and working the vineyard represent the two aspects of our relationship with G‑d.
Learn the Parshah in Depth
A condensation of the weekly Torah portion alongside select commentaries culled from the Midrash, Talmud, Chassidic masters, and the broad corpus of Jewish scholarship.
The Road Home

Not that I had anything against rabbis per se; I was just young and more interested in carving out my own brand of spirituality. But here I was, as low as I had ever felt, knocking gently on the proverbial “heaven’s door.”
My Nephew Wants to Be a Banana

He giggles a bit at the foolishness of adults who waste their time asking such ridiculous questions, and calmly returns to his artwork.
Elul Acronyms

The name of the Hebrew month Elul is spelled alef-lamed-vav-lamed. This corresponds to five different scriptural acronyms that represent five areas of special emphasis in Elul: 1) Torah study, 2) prayer, 3) acts of kindness, 4) repentance and 5) redemption.
The Road to Resilience

How can a mother, a family, continue living after such a tragic event?
Tempering Tantrums

Kids get upset a lot. Adults do too. In fact, miserable feelings are a gift from G‑d, a signal that something is wrong and needs to be fixed.
G-d Loves Mrs. H.

River of Light

Jewish News
Yosi Piamenta, 64, Jewish Guitarist and Songwriter

The Jewish guitarist and songwriter known as the “Hasidic Hendrix”—whose fusion of rock, Sephardic and Chassidic genres left an indelible impression on contemporary Jewish music—passed away in New York yesterday after a long illness. He was 64 years old.
After ‘Superhero’ Is Killed, Memories of His Good Deeds Endure

Leonard B. Robinson, who cheered up sick kids with his costume and ‘Batmobile,’ donned tefillin for first time in 2012.
10 Mitzvah Campaigns, 10 Video Lectures: Rabbi Digs Deep Into Their Significance showcasing foundational programs by Rabbi Mendel Kaplan in Canada.
Ten Years After Hurricane Katrina: Jewish New Orleans Keeps Growing Younger

Chabad fits right into the demographic change that occurred following the storm.
"Mitzrayim" (Egypt) means constriction, limitation. The spiritual Egyptian exile is the animal soul's restricting and concealing the G-dly soul so severely that the G-dly soul is compressed to the degree that it is diminished and obscured. "Exodus from Egypt" is the removal of the constriction and bounds; i.e. the intellect in the brain illuminates the heart, bringing about fine character traits translated into actual practice...
— Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak of Lubavitch (as quoted in Hayom Yom, Shevat 4)
Print Magazine

There are crossroads where you choose not only your future, but your past as well.

Take one road and your past becomes but an irrelevant and forgotten dream.

Take another road and even the darkest past can become a magnificent frame for a moment of glory. The moment for which your soul was formed and all the past was...