Posts Tagged: *Rosh HaShanah

Repetition vs Addition: Melody of M’chal in the Yom Kippur Amidah



By Cantor Hayley Kobilinsky There may be no better day than Yom Kippur to observe the emphasis achieved by repetition of prayer. Our siddur provides many opportunities throughout the year to highlight unique aspects of the day by adding prayers or changing melodies, such as singing the V’shamru on Shabbat or using a special melody to light the Chanukkiah. The majority […]

Read more
Uncategorized

Yom Kippur Amidah



By Rabbi Edwin Goldberg In each Amidah for the Days of Awe, including Yom Kippur, there is an insertion regarding remembering us unto life.  This imagery of the Book of Life is an important reminder that the Days of Awe are designed to help us deal with both the uncertainty of life and our responsibility to […]

Read more
Uncategorized

The Yom Kippur Amidah



By Rabbi Richard Sarason The Yom Kippur Amidah is an extended variant of that for Rosh Hashanah, which was discussed in the Ten Minutes of Torah posting of February 28, 2013, and may usefully be consulted in this context. All of the insertions that are made into the Amidah on Rosh Hashanah and Shabbat Shuvah (the Sabbath of Repentance […]

Read more
Uncategorized

The Timeless Melody Kol Nidrei



By Hayley Kobilinsky How many Jewish holidays (or, for that matter, any religion’s holidays) can you name which are referred to by one prayer? Not many, I can assure you. Even though Kol Nidre is only once segment of the evening service, which is only the beginning of the Yom Kippur observance, we don’t call the […]

Read more
Uncategorized

Kol Nidrei



By Rabbi Edwin Goldberg In Woody Allen’s Annie Hall, at the beginning of their first date, Woody asks Annie for a first kiss.  As he explains it, he knows both of them will be thinking about it all through the night so wouldn’t it be better to get it out of the way and then […]

Read more
Uncategorized

Kol Nidrei: Soulful Melody, Controversial Text



By Rabbi Richard Sarason If one were to ask Reform congregants what single piece of liturgy epitomizes Yom Kippur for them, the answer surely would be Kol Nidrei. Its haunting melody, traditionally chanted three times before the open ark with all of the Torah-scrolls being held in front of the congregation, ushers in the most solemn day […]

Read more
Uncategorized

Hin’ni



By Cantor David E. Reinwald Da lifnei mi atah omeid. Know before whom you stand. We see this text every time we are in the sanctuary. It is a reminder to us of the holiness of the space we inhabit and is an often featured moniker within synagogue sanctuaries. We have a heightened sense of […]

Read more
Uncategorized

Overview of the Yom Kippur Liturgy



Yom Kippur is the holiest and most solemn day of the Jewish year.  On it is played out the great human drama of reckoning and accountability, making amends for past errors and misdeeds, and – ultimately – forgiveness and reconciliation. All of these themes figure prominently in the liturgical texts and practices of the day. […]

Read more
Uncategorized

Torah Cantillation for the High Holy Days



By Cantor Hayley Kobilinsky There are many elements which make the High Holy Days a unique experience.  Often, congregations swell to double or triple their usual size, the musical settings of even common liturgy are different, and some might alter their dress by wearing either traditionally all-white garments or more formal wear than they would […]

Read more
Uncategorized

Mishkan HaNefesh, Rosh HaShanah Morning and Torah Reading Options



By Rabbi Edwin Goldberg The most traditional texts for the Torah reading on Rosh HaShanah morning are Genesis 21 and Genesis 22. In many congregations that observe two days of the holiday, it is most customary to read 21 on the first day and 22 on the second day. Genesis 21 begins with the notion […]

Read more
Uncategorized

Torah Readings for Rosh Hashanah



By Rabbi Richard Sarason The Torah and Haftarah readings for Rosh Hashanah all connect with, and illustrate, one or another of the themes of the holiday. I use the plural advisedly here, because there have been a variety of readings from early on-long before the onset of modernity and the Reform movement. The reason for […]

Read more
Uncategorized

The Music of Un’taneh Tokef



By Cantor Lisa Levine Ask any Cantor which prayers cause the most emotional reaction during the High Holy Days for both clergy and congregation, and the answer will undoubtedly include “Un’taneh Tokef.” After all, in the first paragraph we hear that “the power of this day’s holiness is awesome and frightening…and even the Angels in heaven […]

Read more
Uncategorized

Meditations on the Poetry of Un’taneh Tokef



By Rabbi Margaret Moers Wenig Descriptions of God are speculation, imagination, projection, fantasy, philosophical proposition or pure poetry. Some are banal. Some are hate-filled. Some are so sublime they move us to tears. Some lead us to insights about ourselves. Some transport us beyond our parochial perceptions to act on behalf of others. Notions of God […]

Read more
Uncategorized

The Original “Creative Service”



By Rabbi Leon A. Morris There was a time, more than century and a half ago, when piyutim were seen largely as a kind of cultural burden to be cast aside in order to make the service shorter and more meaningful. Early liturgical reformers argued that the siddur and machzor had grown too lengthy and no […]

Read more
Uncategorized