High Holiday Information
This year we will be using the Rabbinical Assembly’s new machzor (High Holiday prayer book) called Machzor Lev Shalom. It is in English and Hebrew and has Hebrew transliterations so everyone can follow along in the service. It is available in two formats. The digital edition is available for purchase on Issuu.com for $5.99 USD. The content may be accessed across desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. If you want this format, please order it now.
The print (Hardcover) Edition is being offered at a very substantial discount of $33.40 USD. Call Rabbi Rosenstein at 951-679-0419 if you want to purchase one. There is a tiny window of opportunity still available.
Kol Nidre begins promptly at 6PM Sunday, Sept. 27th. Yom Kippur begins promptly at 9:30 AM on Monday Sept. 28th. All members in good standing and those who have purchased their $75 High Holiday tickets will have access to these services. If you would like to purchase a “ticket” for Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur, contact the rabbi at firstname.lastname@example.org. immediately.
Yom Kippur Services
Kol Nidre – Sunday Sept. 27th at 6 PM
Yom Kippur Morning Service & Yizkor – Monday Sept. 28th at 9:30 AM. We will reconvene at 5 PM for Neilah – the closing service of Yom Kippur. The schedule for Succot, Hashanah Rabbah, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah will be announced next week.
The Great Shofar
We heard the Shofar blown on Rosh Hashanah and we will hear it again on Monday evening signaling the end of Yom Kippur. “Praised is the nation that understands the quivering sound of the shofar!” (Psalm 89). “When the Jewish people blow the shofar on Rosh Hashanah, G-d rises from his throne of judgment and sits down on a throne of mercy.” (BT RH16a).
The shofar is blown in three ways: the “Tekiah,” a single long note acts as a kind of summons; the “Shevarim,” the three “breaks” or “fractured” notes remind us of weeping. The “Teruah,” the nine staccato blasts is compared to an urgent alarm, calling us to rouse from our spiritual slumber.
About 1100 years ago, Saadia Gaon, one of the last great leaders of the Babylonian Jewish community, made a list of 10 things that the sounds of the Shofar may bring to our hearts and minds:
1) It is the coronation of a king. G-d created the world during the week ending with Rosh Hashanah, and we acknowledge G-d as our ruler.
2) Rosh Hashanah is the first of the 10 days of penitence, and the shofar stirs our conscience, to confront our past errors and return to G-d.
3) The giving of the Torah, the revelation at Sinai, was accompanied by the sounding of a shofar. Our destiny is to be a people of Torah, to study its rules and practice its commandments.
4) It is reminiscent of the exhortations of the prophets, whose voices rang out like shofarot in denouncing the wrongdoing of the people and calling them to return to G-d’s laws.
5) It reminds us of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, and calls us to strive for Israel’s full renewal.
6) The shofar, a ram’s horn, reminds us of the ram that Abraham offered as a sacrifice in place of his son Isaac, and of the faith of our fathers in offering the highest devotion to G-d.
7) We are summoned to feel humility before G-d’s majesty and might.
8) It is a reminder of the Day of Final Judgment, calling on all people and nations to prepare for G-d’s scrutiny of their deeds.
9) It foreshadows the proclamation of freedom, when Israel’s exiles and homeless are to return to the Holy Land. We are called to believe in Israel’s deliverance at all times and under all circumstances. (Isaiah 27:13; “And on that day a great ram’s horn shall be sounded.”)
10) The final blowing of the shofar will signal the coming of the Moshiach and the inauguration of G-d’s reign of righteousness throughout the world.