See below for a series of Rabbi Mendel’s tweets in several categories: Rosh Hashanah, Shofar, Machzor General and Machzor Specific. They are bite-sized tidbits, most should be self-understood.
“Inscribed & Sealed for a Good Year!” Think of email’s COMPOSE vs SEND, WRITING the paper vs. UPLOADING it. The seal clinches.
#HighHolidays#RoshHashana begins tonight: #jewishnewyear, apple&honey, #shofar, #highholidays, #reboot, #reset. #ShanaTova!
#RoshHashana begins tonight: #jewishnewyear, apple&honey, #shofar, #highholidays, #reboot, #reset. #ShanaTova!
Sometimes a computer needs to shutdown & restart. If too many conflicting things running, a fresh start might be all it needs. #RoshHashanah
#roshhashanah images: #shofar, or someone blowing it wearing a #tallit, #machzor book, apple dipped in honey, waterside #tashlich.
Of course, pomegranates (may our deeds be as numerous as their seeds) are a #RoshHashanah staple.
Not to knock brisket but evidently there’s more to #RoshHashanah than what’s on the menu, even as were busy with such prep at Chabad.
Fear not… We’re serving full course delicious festive meals all #RoshHashanah wknd, lunches & dinners. But we need to keep perspective!
It takes 2 million+ #bee flower visits to make 1cup of #honey. Think of huge effort to make something #sweet – naturally. #roshhashanah
Always 7 days between #RoshHashana & #YomKippur. Each day we reflect on another day of the week in the past year. #highholidays #Teshuvah
Best known symbolic #RoshHashanah food is apple dipped in honey. Did u know #Talmud suggests beets, leeks, & fenugreek for their symbolism?
#Apple&Honey, round #Challah, #pomegranate & #Tashlich are all #RoshHashanah customs but most important #mitzvah by far is hearing #Shofar!
The traditional #RoshHashanah wish is #ShanaTova which means “good year” not #HappyNewYear. @goodyear got it right!
#RoshHashanah vs. #NewYears: what’s similar, different? What’s the optimum mood for the #JewishNewYear? How to get that feel?
#HighHolidays are certainly important, but wish people’s taste of #Judaism would include joys & celebrations of #Sukkot, #SimchatTorah etc.
#shofar is many things: alarm clock, a herald, soul’s inner wordless cry, recalls Isaac’s ram, & symbol of narrow turning & opening broader.
#Shofar is all at once: wakeup alarm, child’s cry, heralding call, historical memory & the Jewish future. It pings & pines, it tells & asks.
#Shofar pings? Yes, it tests the connection w/ our “server” using broken bits (shvarim & truah) in data packs w/ headers & footers (tekiah).
as in pinging the server. #Shofar parable: testing/showing connection, with header & footer (Tekiah) data packets (Teruah).
The broken #shofar sounds of shevarim & teruah are always surrounded (and supported!) by solid strong tekiah blasts. They are never alone.
Chassidus views the first night of #RoshHashanah as in limbo: suspense, anticipation… until the #Shofar is blown the following morning.
Chassidus views the first night of #RoshHashanah as in limbo: suspense, anticipation… until the #Shofar is blown the following morning.
At #ShofarFactory a student compared it to #Ollivander’s… more than us choosing, the #Shofar chooses us, there’s a soul match.
#Shofar is Hebrew for horn but is also related to the word Shipru/Lshaper which means to improve, to beautify.
#Shofar has a similar root to a Hebrew word for improvement. #Shofar is an alarm clock for change, a catalyst for spiritual growth.
Look at text of #Shofar blessing. It’s not to blow Shofar, but to listen to its sound. It’s more about taking it in, than blowing it out.
Does your dryer sing at end of load? Oven beep when food is ready? Another way to hear #Shofar. We’re back on w/ G-d, ready for a new
#Machzor (#highholiday prayerbook) really means “#cycle”: Think #spiral, returning to same point, but a few degrees higher than last year.
The #Machzor is filled with liturgical poetry: alphabetical, paraphrase, allegory, wordplay.. all with layers of meaning & history.
But like poetry or song lyrics, the #Machzor is most meaningful when it strikes a chord, when it touches something inside, hits home!
The #onephraseperpage #RoshHashanah challenge. It’s hard to find all the #Machzor relevant & meaningful so try to find one phrase per page.
A 770 #RoshHashanah memory: “Men zol visen vu men shtayt un far vemen mem shtayt!” fierce passionate proclamation by the old Gabbai MP Katz.
Which translates to… “Know where you stand and before whom you stand!” Timely & relevant for #RoshHashanah and throughout life.
The copper snake on a pole had no healing powers other than its ability to turn people heavenward. #Mishna #RoshHashanah #Chukat #caduceus
There’s a lot to say, hence all the #HighHoliday prayers & a lot we can’t find words for, it goes far deeper – hence #Shofar a wordless cry.
Benefits of sitting/standing in synagogue: exercise, minimizes restless leg syndrome, & it balances respect for & comfort with our Judaism.
When you get called to open the ark, think beyond physical coverings. Think of layers to peel away within ourselves to reveal Torah within.
What better way to proclaim G-d as king than to commit to or enhance a #Mitzvah observance? #RoshHashanah jumpstarts the Jewish year!
#CollarStays @SwissStays, Live TV & a #RoshHashanah message: https://www.shabboshouse.org/collar-stays-and-live-tv/ …
Who ascends the Mountain of G-d? (#Psalm24) Think #Kilimanjaro or #Everest, one must be fit for the climb, oxygen gets thinner up there.
Lift up the gates! (#Psalm24) Are these garage doors? stores in the inner city? Why lift? Heaven’s doors open upwards, not push or pull!
“This is a generation of seekers” (#Psalm24) Underneath what we’re looking for, what do we seek? What do we really want? #RoshHashana
An abbreviation of the 3rd, 4th & 5th Hebrew words of #Psalm24 is what we wrote in all of our Yeshiva books before writing our own names.
#Psalm150 uses musical instruments to praise G-d: thru tension of a drum, breath blown into a flute, a touch of life’s strings.
Tension can create music, if drawn just tight enough but not too tight. Too much slack doesn’t elicit sound. Drums in #Psalm150
Timing is everything for clashing cymbals, they meet in the middle to make the desired sound – so it is with life’s contrasts. #Psalm150
#Psalm150 is all about praising G-d with instruments. Hey, but what if u can’t play or don’t have an instrument? >>
<< that’s why #Psalm150 ends with: “Every being that has a soul – praise the L-rd!” No instruments or specific talent or ability necessary.
“All my limbs” i.e. everything I’ve got. Go big or go home. Prayer works best when we don’t hold back, when we throw yourself into it 100%.
Every #HighHoliday #Machzor has a bigger bolder font for this one word: The King! It sets the tone, sets the bar: It’s not just about us!
1/3: Rabbi Aharon of Karlin fainted when reaching the word “The King” in #HighHoliday #Machzor. Why? He recalled the Talmud story of >
2/3: Roman general asked R’ Yochanon b. Zakkai: “If I’m King, why didn’t you come earlier!” – R’ Aharon saw this as reflection of us & G-d..
3/3: This story of non-@Chabad Rebbe, is one of the only (if not the only) story printed in the original @chabad #HighHoliday #Machzor.
“Song of Ascents” (#Psalm130) literally = steps. One step at a time, step in right direction, journey of 1000 miles begins w/ single step.
“Out of the depths” (#Psalm130) can be from lowest point, from the pits, or it can mean from depths of one’s soul, from innermost core.
“More than night watchmen awaiting dawn” (#Psalm130) all on work shifts know this feeling, but is also figurative: from darkness to light!
The #Amidah was so good the first time, we’re going to do it all over again! (Reasons for Chazzan’s aloud repetition of silent #Amidah)
Seriously, #Amidah may be repeated but it’s not superfluous. We pray as individuals & as a community, each has its own power & purpose.
1/3: Repetition of #HighHoliday #Amidah in #Machzor has short “Misod” paragraph about leading the congregation based on secret traditions.
2/3: btw: chabad #Machzor doesn’t translate it as secret, perhaps bcuz for @chabad the mystical inner tradition is normal part of life.
3/3: But what’s the secret? How we humans (despite all our limitations) can open up to speak to G!d. This communicative channel of prayer.
LIFE is a very Jewish word, especially around #HighHolidays. Quick Hebrew lesson: #Chaim = life, the root is #Chai, & #Lchaim is TO LIFE!
“suspends earth in empty space” isn’t only a matter of astronomy. It’s about life in limbo, the world in balance, awaiting that one deed.
Another repeated #Machzor word is #Kadosh, usually = holy, after all it’s the High HOLY Days! But #Kadosh also means different/designated.
MLCH = Hebrew root for king. By changing vowels it can be WAS King, IS King, WILL be King. Melech = is, Moloch = was, Yimloch = will be.
Timelessness is a big in Judaism. G-d is timeless & therefore so are His Mitzvot. They span centuries, never out of style.
#CapeofGoodHope was named by the Portuguese. Term dates back to #RoshHashanah #Machzor prayer: Tikvah Tova (good hope) to those who seek U!
“Good hope” in the #Machzor recalls “Cape of Good Hope” in Africa, & makes you wonder: Is there such a thing as bad hope? Isn’t all hope good?
“Nes” on #Chanukah #Dreidel means miracle. In the #Amidah it means a flag or banner. Both are about uplift, rising higher, going beyond!
In #Shofar too, there’s the wordless broken cry from the depths, & the great triumphant blast of redemption! #Shofar from below & above!
“Orech Din” He who arranges the law, is modern Hebrew word for lawyer, but in #HighHoliday #Machzor it = G-d in a famous liturgical
“He opens the gate to those who knock in repentance”. Forget the song itself, does “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” ring a bell?
The mere act of knocking on heaven’s door is already a form of return/repentance, even before anything is said. I want in!
knockingonheavensdoor is saying we are outside & eager to come in. It says “We are here” before any specific request or #prayer. #Teshuvah
3 biblical #Mothers: #Sarah, #Hagar & #Chana all featured in #RoshHashana readings – on praying, protecting & caring for their #children.
In #Haftorah 2ndday of #RoshHashanah, Jeremiah hauntingly & reassuringly describes “Rachel weeping for her children”. A voice heard on high!
As parents #RoshHashanah Torah readings & Haftorahs r esp moving. “For this child I prayed” & “hear the voice of the youth from where he is”
From #RoshHashanah #Torah reading: “Arise, lift up the child, hold onto him” about helping challenged youth reach their potential & beyond.
Most vivid #RoshHashanah memory #Rebbe’s singular clarion call saying verses b4 #Shofar responded by thunderous united roar of Chassidim.
Indeed! the notes, the setting… the notes in paperbags on bima @ #Rebbe’s #Shofar blowing.
#Psalm47 before #Shofar ends with the words “Me’od Na’alah” very high or very exalted. Recalls the Peretz story: “If Not Higher!”
#Psalm47 b4 #Shofar is by Sons of Korach. They returned from their father’s rebellion & reached for truth despite their circumstances.
The 8 responsive verses before #Shofar are my most powerful memory of hearing #Shofar from the #Rebbe in 770.
Rebbe’s singsong of the 8 pre-#Shofar verses, a clarion call in a pregnant silence, answered by a thunderous crowd – all in one unified voice.
Of 8 by #Rebbe- these 4 pre-#Shofar verses stuck the most: MinHaMeitzar, ArovAvedecha, SasAnochi & TuvTaam. Can’t read them any other way.
1st verse after #Shofar: “People who know the sound of the #Shofar” – we get it, it resonates with us, it speaks to our hearts.
3rd verse after #Shofar says “Tiferes Uzomo” – the beauty of their strength! google Tiferes Uzomo for a Russian Chassidic interpretation.
“You Holy One enthroned on the praises of Israel” see the #BaalShemTov “Baruch Hashem” story on this verse.
See that bold word “Ometz”? It means inner strength or courage. In the #Machzor its about our forefathers, but really its for us.
“Who is strong?” asks Avot= “who conquers inclination” Ometz in #RoshHashanah #Machzor is about valiantly subduing desire, it takes courage!
“As sure His Name, likewise His praise” confidence, assurance & certainty play big roles in all areas of life expression, prayer, too!
On #RoshHashanah heard a dramatic #Sephardic poem about #Akeidah. A striking biographical detail adds much meaning. https://www.shabboshouse.org/the-akeidah-poem-by-yehudah-samuel-abbas/
Unesaneh Tokef is a frightfully haunting prayer, but the “as a shepherd” line reassures G-d looks after each of us individually. We matter!
I heard this beautiful story on #RoshHashanah. It recalls a line about counting in the famous Unesaneh Tokef prayer. https://www.shabboshouse.org/translation/
#BookofLife “reads itself” says UnesanehTokef #RoshHashanah prayer. Indeed it does, actions speak for themselves, our choices tell a story.
3 Bold Loud Words at end of UnesanehTokef prayer: Repentance, Prayer & Charity. #Rebbe says they are all mistranslated.
#RoshHashanah isn’t Creation start date but birthday of man. This is true start date of G-d’s works, when Creator’s purpose can be realized.
#Aleinu is usually stuck at the end of the prayer, but on #RoshHashanah is smack in middle of the #Musaf #Amidah. Prime real estate!
#Aleinu opens with a commitment, a sense of responsibility. It is incumbent upon us and it is up to us. Demanding yet empowering.
#Aleinu one of our oldest prayers dating back to Joshua. Last verse of this paragraph goes back to Moses & is at heart of @chabad thought.
You know #TikkunOlam, a famous modern Jewish communal buzzword? It comes from V’al Kayn, 2nd paragraph of #Aleinu. Read the context!
“Bayom Hahu…” many Jews know that tune at end of #Aleinu. But how many know its about #Moshiach?
“G!d & His Name will be One” our external image & reputation doesn’t always jive & sync with who we are inside, but we strive for that day!
Ask (knowledgeable) Jews for their most important #RoshHashanah prayer in the #Machzor book. It can be quite telling philosophically.
Crux of #RoshHashanah prayers for a #Chabad #Chassid? “May every effect know its cause, every creation know its Creator!” #Machzor
Read the intro to Dr. Brawer’s book “Something from Nothing” to get a glimpse into the verse “May every creation know its Creator”.
#Memory is huge in #RoshHashanah prayers, think RAM/active memory vs storage memory (more like history). Memory is how we function as Jews.
Now with computers we have greater insight into role of memory in #RoshHashanah prayers. Think Jewish RAM, not storage but active memory!
There’s a blessing before the priestly blessing which ends with the word Love! To bless your people with love.
The last word of the priestly blessing is SHALOM, which means: hello & goodbye, peace and wholesomeness.
SHALOM (hello & bye, peace & whole) may be one of the universally best known words of the Hebrew language!
The “Hayom” #Machzor poem celebrates TODAY. Old Chassidim said “tomorrow” is the name of an evil inclination.
“Hayom” TODAY also signifies: clear & obvious as day, urgent as the immediate present, and personally relevant.