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Rosh Hashanah Essays

Essays on the Holiday's Themes

Essays on the significance of Rosh Hashanah, the annual coronation of G-d, the sounds of the Shofar, and more...

New Moon, New Year, New World
A meditation on the meaning of Rosh Hashanah
The shofar is a call to renewal, and that renewal is enacted by ourselves and by G‑d.
Is Rosh Hashanah a Patriarchal Holiday?
Where the male and female energies of creation converge
Rosh Hashanah and the Warping of Time
How this day is the first day of everything that ever was.
The Long Blast
To trumpet wordless sounds evokes images of cavemen from times when language was nascent and man’s verbal capacity was too limited to convey complex ideas. We now know how to articulate our thoughts in language. So why don’t we?
The Waking of Creation
The Kabbalists describe a cosmic drama which repeats itself each year, as the world "falls asleep" on the eve of Rosh Hashanah and is "awakened" the following morning by the sound of the shofar.
A Blast of Light
Rosh Hashanah holds within it an awesome power. The light of the past is withdrawn, and the light of the future has yet to come down into the world and into your life. The Book is open. What will you choose?
Love and Judgement
Judgment may be frightening for the ego, but it's very reassuring for the self: it tells me that G-d cares about my choices and that I make a difference in this world
A Glass of Milk
How are we to reconcile the loftiness of Rosh Hashanah with the mundane subject of a significant part of its prayers? Chanah's prayer offers the response to this profound question.
The Man In Man
Only man’s deeds have true significance. The industry of the ant or the faithfulness of the dove are no more “moral” than the cruelty of the cat or the deviousness of the snake. This explains why Rosh Hashanah commemorates Day Six of creation...
The Neurology of Time
“It’s all in the head” is a fairly accurate description of reality. Everything you sense, know and feel relates to the universe between your ears . . . What is true of the human being is also true of another of G‑d’s creations: time . . .
A New Flow of Life
Is the Universe alive? The Sages see it as pulsating with spiritual energy. And the one who gives it life? Well, the Jew plays an important role in the process...
The Making of Sacred Time
Time, like every body, is punctuated by differences of shape, form and substance. The Hebrew month of Tishrei is the "brain" through which the soul of time flows before spreading its life force to the rest of the time-body
At One with the King
Rosh Hashanah's relationship to the other days of the year parallels the relationship of the head to the other organs of the body. An analysis of the multi-dimensional relationship between the body and the head will thus shed light on the significance of Rosh Hashanah.
The Purpose of Creation
Why is Rosh Hashanah commemorated on the 1st of Tishrei if the world was created six days earlier? Perhaps this is because the world without man is meaningless...
The Sobbing Horn
When one thinks of the High-Holidays, the vision and sound of the shofar-blowing certainly occupies a central aspect of the day's observances.
Teshuvah, Tefilla and Tzedakah
"Repentance," "prayer," and "charity" -- three often-used mistranslations of the Hebrew words "teshuvah," "tefillah," and "tzedakah"...
Savoring the Sweetness: A Baby Boomer's Rosh Hashanah
In the midst of all this school hustle and bustle came another beginning—Rosh Hashanah.
How Do We Define Others?
Rosh Hashanah
Every year, we celebrate Rosh Hashanah again. Because creation—and its interpretation—is a never ending process.
A Cry From The Depths of Our Souls
This is what the sounds of the shofar are all about: a cry from the depths of our souls. And that is what breaks through the gates of heaven and reaches G‑d, our father.
12 Instances of Shofar-Blowing in Jewish History
Throughout Jewish history, the Shofar has been sounded in a variety of situations.
Annulment of Known Vows in Hatarat Nedarim
This article focuses on one Jewish law regarding Hatarat Nedarim (Annulment of Vows), namely that the petitioner is obliged to articulate the vow which he seeks to absolve.
5 Affirmations to Keep in Mind This Rosh Hashanah
It is G‑d’s will that I be free, that I be loving, that I be holy, that I be joyful, that I be creative, that I be who I truly am
This Is What You Need to Tell the Demons Inside You
We have to remember that we are inherently pure and good, and each day is a new day and a new opportunity.
Q&A: How a Chassidic Professor Approaches the High Holidays
An Interview With Dr. Yaakov Brawer
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