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A New Beginning

היום הזה נהיית לעם לה' אלקיך “Today you have become a nation to Hashem your G‑d.”[1] Rashi explains that the word “today” refers not to the specific day on which Moshe delivered this message to Bnei Yisrael.  Rather it means that on each and every day we must feel as if we had just now entered into a covenant with Hashem. Constant renewal is the key to remaining fresh and energetic in Hashem’s service.  Oth ...

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Reciting לדוד ה אורי in Elul

The first letters of the verse, “I am to my Beloved as my Beloved is to me,” אני לדודי ודודי לי spell the word אלול, signifying the love between Bnei Yisrael and our Father in Heaven that pervades this special month.[1]  Yet perhaps a phrase of fear and trepidation would have been more appropriate to prepare us for the terrifying judgment of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.  The Rambam writes that we cannot eve ...

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Elul – A Time for Return

 Elul - A Time for Return Elul is a time for returning.  Some return to their offices after summer vacation to resume their regular work schedule.  Some return to yeshiva after “bein hazemanim” to begin the Elul semester, much as they would begin any other semester of yeshiva study.  Still others view Rosh Chodesh Elul in an entirely different light, recognizing its true potential as a unique window in time ...

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Minhagim of ellul-signing off emails

Question: לכבוד מרן שליט׳א Does the minhag of signing letters off with כתיבה וחתימה טובה during the month of ellul apply to emails as well? Many thanks Answer: Presumably it would, as after all this is the modern form of letter sending, and there is no reson to believe it is only standard mail. However it would depend on the nature of the email. When one is writing a formal email similar to a letter it woul ...

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The Month of Elul: Trepidation and Joy

During the month of Elul, Ashkenazic custom is to blow shofar each morning after Shacharis, and to recite the chapter of Tehillim beginning, " לדוד ה' אורי וישעי- By David, Hashem is my light and my salvation," twice each day. These two customs were chosen to prepare us for the days of judgment to come.  What is their significance, and how do they relate to one another? Shofar blowing awakens our hearts wit ...

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Elul A Time for Returning

Elul is a time for returning.  Some return to their offices after summer vacation, to resume their regular work schedule.  Some return to yeshiva after “bein hazemanim”, to begin the Elul semester, much as they would begin any other semester of yeshiva study.  Still others view Rosh Chodesh Elul in an entirely different light, recognizing its true potential as a unique window in time, through which we can e ...

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