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Rosh Hashanah Stories

Stories about Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year: ancient, chassidic, and contemporary.

A Young Man, a Sick Wife and a Wise Rabbi
“I need a rabbi! Help me! I need a rabbi right now!!” The shocking, ear-splitting cry shattered the stillness in the synagogue.
My 9/11 Rosh Hashanah
Blowing shofar amidst the smoke and ashes
A Shofar in Siberia and the Young Boy Who Arranged It
Young Meir noticed that with each passing day his grandfather grew more and more depressed. “How will we blow the shofar?” cried the Rebbe.
Stranded on an Island for Rosh Hashanah
How the son-in-law of the Baal Shen Tov ended up on a remote island and accomplished something very important
The Silent Shofar and the Smith’s Assistant
He took the ram’s horn to his lips, ready to blow. Yet, try as he might, not a sound issued from the horn.
Rosh Hashanah in the Rebbe’s Court
Lubavitch, 5660
A rich description of the holiday of Rosh Hashanah 5660 (1899) as it was celebrated in the town of Lubavitch. The writer was a young student who found himself in a world he had never known existed.
Saved From Death's Door
He’s refused to eat for the past four weeks. The doctors say that his organs are starting to shut down . . .
Two Parables
A King had an only son, the apple of his eye. The King wanted his son to master different fields of knowledge and to experience various cultures, so he sent him to a far-off country...
The Coronation
Who crowns G-d as king? And what emotion should this elicit. A contemporary Jewish leader shares a moving childhood memory...
Caught in the Act
None would buy the great soul of R. Levi Yitzchak on Rosh Hashanah.
The Master Key
Finally, the great moment arrived. It was the morning of Rosh Hashanah, and Rabbi Ze’ev stood on the reading platform in the center of the Baal Shem Tov’s synagogue amidst the Torah scrolls, surrounded by a sea of tallit-draped bodies.
A Rebbe's Prayer
The sexton returned to see what was happening, and when he arrived he saw the gentile standing in the vestibule crying bitterly. “Why are you crying? the sexton asked...
In the Land of Obmah
A Rosh Hashanah story
After a month of determined journeying, the elders of Obmah reached the deep caves of Igsirous, the last bastion of loyalty to King Avmal remaining in the kingdom...
Holding G-d in Her Hands
It was obvious that G‑d was there in the room. Because she was talking to Him.
Our Rosh Hashanah Blackout
I feel as if I am on another planet, a different dimension. For the first time in a long time, I truly feel Rosh Hashanah
After all these years, I may be less sensitive to your wants and wishes. My guard is down; my words and actions no longer reflect the nuances of care they once did. But you, too, don't give yourself as freely as in the olden days...
The Sound of the Silent Shofar
OK, that’s the law; but where is the inspiration? Where is the majesty? How can we hear a silent shofar?
"Today is the day before Rosh Hashanah," his Zeide explained. "Today we do not blow Shofar. Tomorrow morning, we will blow the shofar in shul." The child did not comprehend the reasons. He kicked and screamed, telling his Zeide, "One more blast! One more blast!"
The Fireman
A Parable
He ran to the nearest hut and set fire to its straw roof. The fire began to spread very quickly. “Don’t be alarmed!” cried the lad. “Now watch me.”
Six Hundred Dinars Minus Six
"Give with an open hand," Rabbi Shimon adjured. "Don't worry about tomorrow, G-d will provide. And most important: write it all down. Every penny you give, write it down and carry the list with you at all times..."
High Holidays in Tearful Prayer
The High Holidays in Samarkand were an experience unto themselves. The people of the community grew introspective, as each individual tried to improve on his or her own religious observance and focus less on material pursuits. One could sense that the Days of Awe were approaching.
The Story Behind the Shorn Lock
"When the duke responded with a showering of compliments, I hardly believed my good fortune."
Shofar in the ICU—Hakafot in the Chabad House
It so happened that as I opened the stairwell door on one of the floors, I found myself in the ICU Unit . . .
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