Rosh Hashana
The High Holidays: Everyone’s Holiday

The High Holidays: Everyone’s Holiday

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz When I think about the High Holidays, I picture synagogues full of Jews, the men wrapped in snow-white prayer shawls swaying silently, the women praying fervently. They are Jewish holidays and the pinnacle of the...

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The Still Small Voice of the Shofar

The Still Small Voice of the Shofar

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz I had the remarkable merit of learning in Yeshiva (school for Torah study) with Barya Shachter, now a truly inspirational leader of a spiritual community. He is the son of Rabbi Zalman Shachter-Shalomi, the...

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The Tragedy of the Death of Gedaliah

The Tragedy of the Death of Gedaliah

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz Today, the day after Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew New Year), Jews observe a minor fast day from dawn until dusk. This fast day, known as the Fast of Gedaliah, laments the assassination of a righteous governor of the...

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How Will We be Remembered?

How Will We be Remembered?

By Elie Mischel Rabbi Israel Kagan, one of the great Eastern European Jewish leaders of the 20th century, was once cited as a character witness in a court case in Belarus. The defendant’s lawyer said that Rabbi Kagan, though not present...

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The Dramatic Paradox of the Hebrew New Year

The Dramatic Paradox of the Hebrew New Year

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz When I first started my journey toward “being religious”, I was concerned about the prayers on Rosh Hashana. During the rest of the year, we bow at the waist while reciting the Aleinu prayer. But on Rosh Hashana,...

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Forget Your Past – For Now

Forget Your Past – For Now

By Elie Mischel Fifteen years ago, when I was working as a corporate attorney in New Jersey, I joined a volunteer program in which lawyers helped Holocaust survivors fill out incredibly long and detailed applications for Holocaust...

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Three Things We Must Renew Daily

Three Things We Must Renew Daily

By Chaim Barzel We have all made New Year's resolutions: to eat healthier, to get to sleep earlier, to make up with an old friend, etc. That is because the new year is a time of renewal. A new year means the opportunity to start over, and...

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The Month of Return

The Month of Return

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz Anticipation and preparation are two words I have always had difficulty with. In Yeshiva (Jewish school for Torah learning), my rabbi called me "do-ish." I have a tendency to jump right in and figure things out...

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The Biblical New Year

The Biblical New Year

Establishing a calendar in Judaism requires a total reset from how time is marked on a secular calendar, realigning the days, weeks, months, and years according to Biblical principles. Days and weeks  The days of the week are oriented...

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Who is Gedalia and why do Jews fast for him?

Who is Gedalia and why do Jews fast for him?

Archaeologists in Israel uncovered evidence from nearly three thousand years ago, proving the existence of Gedaliah, a relatively minor character mentioned in the Bible, whose life is still commemorated till this very day by Jews every...

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