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Deepen your understanding of some of the most central prayers of Rosh Hashanah and reflect on their meaning in our lives today.
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HaYom Harat Olam / On this Day, the World Came into Being
Rosh Hashanah is understood by this prayer to be the birthday of the world. This prayer connects Rosh Hashanah to the creation of the world and asks for fair and compassionate judgement.
Sefaria Education1734 ViewsAug 11 2020
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Remember Us? / Zochreinu Le-Chayim
"Zochreinu Le-Chayim" - Remember us for life - is one of a number of additions, which are included in the daily Amidah (silent) prayer, beginning on Rosh HaShanah. In this striking prayer, we seek to remind God that God desires life and ought to write us in the Book of Life.
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The Cry Heard Around the World/Shofarot
The shofar is the one consistent sound resounded throughout Jewish history to herald both the greatest news, as well as the most tragic. The Shofarot section of the Mussaf Amidah describes the many emotional encounters we've had with this special ram's horn.
Sefaria Education778 ViewsAug 11 2020
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A Different Kind of Memorial Day/Zikhronot
Memory is a recurring theme in the Rosh HaShanah liturgy, which is why one of its four names is Yom HaZikaron, or Day of Remembrance. The Zikhronot section of the Mussaf Amidah makes a claim that God remembers us.
Sefaria Education643 ViewsAug 11 2020
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Repentance, Prayer, and Giving/Unetaneh Tokef
If you thought three actions might reverse your fate, what would they be? Based on the Talmud, Unetaneh Tokef presents a seemingly simply recipe to avert the evil decree against someone.
Sefaria Education488 ViewsAug 12 2020
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Who By Fire, Who by Plague? Judaism's Haunting Prayer/Unetaneh Tokef
With so much uncertainty in the world, there is one thing we can say with 100% certainty: our eventual death. Unetaneh Tokef reminds us of the scary, but very real fact of our mortality and vulnerability.
Sefaria Education1440 ViewsAug 12 2020
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The Day God Became King/Malkhuyot - Rosh Hashanah
In the Malkhuyot (kingships) set of prayers, we actively coronate God - we give God a crown and appoint God as the king. What does it mean to "crown God as king over us?"
Sefaria Education543 ViewsAug 11 2020
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How Do You Measure A Year?/Unetaneh Tokef
An in-depth look at the Unateneh Tokef prayer.
Sefaria Education731 ViewsAug 11 2020
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What Type of Seat Does God Sit In? / HaMelech Yoshev
The leader loudly chants, "The King," in a distinct, ancient melody, as if announcing the arrival of a government official. In this prayer, God sits upon an "exalted and uplifted throne," but God is said to sit upon other types of thrones as well.
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Renew Us For A Good Year / Avinu Malkeinu
This powerful prayer relates to God as both a parent and a monarch. Compare the roles and consider what the good year that we are asking for would look like.
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