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Wednesday, Elul 29, 5777 / September 20, 2017


Tonight we will celebrate Rosh Hashana, which will begin the New Year, 5778.


While other Biblical holidays are celebrated only one day in Israel, Rosh Hashana is an exception and even in Israel it is celebrated two days.


Prayer is a mitzvah every day. In fact, we pray three times a day. Prayer serves a double purpose; we ask G-d to grant us what we need and at the same time through prayer we connect to G-d. Prayer makes us aware that whatever we have comes from G-d, thus bringing us closer to G-d.


The Hebrew word for prayer is “Tefillah” which also means to “connect.”  Prayer is not only a request but also a connectionwe connect with G-d.


Prayer takes on an even greater significance on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.  During these days G-d is “closer” to us and as a result, we feel closer to Him than during the rest of the year. 


During the two days Rosh Hashana and the day of Yom Kippur we dedicate much more time to our prayers. We spend more time in synagogue, as the services are longer and more detailed. While every day we pray for our daily needs, on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur we ask G-d to grant us good life, health and whatever else we need for the entire year.


On the lighter side to end the year: One Rosh Hashana, the rabbi of the synagogue noticed little Moshe staring at the large plaque hanging in the shul lobby.


It was covered with names and small American flags were mounted on either side of it. The boy had been staring at the plaque for some time, when the rabbi walked over to him and said, “Shana Tova, Moshe’le.”


“Shana Tova to you too,” replied Moshe’le, still very intent on the plaque.


Then he turns to the rabbi and says, “Rabbi, what is this?”


“Well, it’s a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service.”


Soberly, they stood together, staring at the large plaque. Then little Moshe’le turned to the rabbi and asked, “Rabbi, which service, Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur?”


May G-d bless you and your loved ones with a Shana Tova – a happy, healthy, prosperous and sweet New Year. May the New Year bring safety and peace to the entire world, especially to our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land. May G-d fulfill ALL of your requests and prayers. We will connect again, G-d willing, in the New Year.