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Why is Sukkot the Most Joyous Time of the Year

The Loving Embrace of the Sukkah

Temple Talk Radio by Rabbi Chaim Richman for The Temple Institute, Jerusalem, Israel:
«Fresh from the high holy days and our rendezvous with the King, the nation of Israel prepares to celebrate the festival of Sukkot, called ‚the time of our joy.‘ What is the secret of Sukkot and why is it considered to be the most joyous festival of year? Why did the spirit of prophecy descend on the entire nation of Israel during the famed ‚Festival of the Water Libation‘ in Temple times? Tune into this week’s Temple Talk as Yitzchak Reuven and Rabbi Chaim Richman present a deluxe Sukkot special! Chag Sameach to all»…more:

Shabbat Shalom veHag Sukkot Sameach
New Year’s → Free Picture Greeting Postcards Download

Remember it’s only less than two month to prepare against Luther’s Birthday Party Kristallnacht 80

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Ha’azinu and Special Sukkot Message

Deuteronomy 32:1-52 || 2 Samuel 22:1-51

Commentary by Rabbi Chaim Richman for The Temple Institute, Jerusalem, Israel:
«Our lives are a song whose words and melody are co-authored by ourselves and our Creator. We must take care to hear G-d’s voice and harmonize with His will. This is but one of the lessons we can glean from Ha’azinu, read this year on the Shabbat between Yom Kippur and Sukkot. If we have successfully re-tuned our souls on Yom Kippur we will be able to clearly hear G-d’s music as we sit in our sukkot, which are open to the star and the sounds that surround us. The festival of Sukkot reveals the secret of true joy and true music. Having been judged favorably and sealed for life, we are full of confidence and ready for a whole new beginning: Let the music play»…more:

Shabbat Shalom veHag Sukkot Sameach
New Year’s → Free Picture Greeting Postcards Download

Remember it’s only less than two month to prepare against Luther’s Birthday Party Kristallnacht 80

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From Yom Kippur to Sukkot

Temple Talk Radio: From Yom Kippur to Sukkot: Renewal, Joy, and Prophecy

Commentary by Rabbi Chaim Richman for The Temple Institute, Jerusalem, Israel:
«The Sukkah: Escaping into the Divine Embrace Ushpizin (Guests) in the Sukkah and the Divine Attributes. The joyous festival of Sukkot is approaching, and the hosts of Temple Talk prepare to head into their temporary booths, to bask in the radiance of the Divine Presence and to prepare for a whole new world. Join Yitzhak Reuven and Rabbi Chaim Richman for a special Sukkot edition of Temple Talk that provides special inspiration and insight into this unique holiday. Note: Temple Talk will break for the Sukkot holiday next week and will resume with a new broadcast on October 17, 2017. Chag Sameach to all our listeners»…more:

Gemar Chatima Tova! May we all be written and sealed in the Book of Life!

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Jom Kippur and Sukkot Video Commentary

Sukkot Simchat Torah Grusskarte Greeting Card◄ click here for Sukkot Sameach greeting card and use for free

Video Commentary by Rabbi Richman for The Temple Institute, Jerusalem:

    „Yom Kippur, the awesome day of atonement is the Holy of Holies in the dimension of time and soul, the one day of the year in which we can enter our innermost holy sanctum of self, and reemerge, not only unscathed, but cleansed and renewed. Our future and our past is ours to write and rewrite, if we but dare to see ourselves as the blessed creatures G-d intended us.“…more:

Shabbat Ha’azinu Shalom (Deut.32) and Shana Tova

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SUKKOT Feast Of Tabernacles Readings and Commentary

1st day: Hallel; Lev 22:26-23:44; Numbers 29:12-16; Haftara: Zech 14
2nd day: Hallel; Lev 22:26-23:44; Numbers 29:12-16; Haftara: 1.Kings 8:2-21

The Feast of Tabernacles is a fest of joy, Hag Sukkot Sameach, and we want to invite you to shake the lulav and to feel it beating the heart, okay? Please feel invited to have a look into a Sukkah in a childreans song: read more…

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Parashat HaAzinu Shabbat Readings and Commentary

Deut. 32:1 -52; 2. Samuel 22:1-51

Pullout of the Commentary by Michael Schneider, Jerusalem:
This week’s portion is the last before the yearly reading cycle of the five books of Moses, the Torah, begins again. It is a one-chapter portion that speaks of the „Song of Moses.“ The first Song of Moses was the „Song of the Sea“ when the people of Israel miraculously crossed the Reed Sea.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Insert of the GSI editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Isn’t it that, while Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused West and Israel of nuclear intimidation on Yom Kippur before the UN General Assembly – click: TimesLIVE » – singing songs is the best answer?

Please join us also on our article: Sukkot – Feast of Tabernacles »

Now in the last song of Moses we stand once again at the crossing of the Jordan. The first song begins with the 40-year journey through the desert. The Song of Moses is like a last will to his people before his death. Moses begins his song with: „Give ear, O heavens, … and let the earth hear.“ Moses chose heaven and earth to be his witnesses! According to the Jewish sages, if they obeyed God’s Word heaven would bless them (by rain etc.) and the earth by the fruitfulness of their soil (harvest).

We should not forget that Moses is speaking to a new generation that was to enter the Promised Land and not the generation that left Egypt!

In the stanza in verse 7 we read: „Ask your father, and he will inform you; Your elders, and they will tell you.“

According to the promise we find in verses 10 and 11, God will cover you with His wings as an eagle and guard you as the apple of His eye.

Moses, before the Israelites even captured the Land, also spoke of bad times that would come, even an expulsion!

Moses called the Israelites a people of a perverse generation. They served God and the spirit of the world, they were double-minded. But the Lord will have compassion on His servants.

This also was foreseen: „It is I who put to death and give life; I have wounded and it is I who heal.“. The order here is interesting: God first will kill, but then He brings life. Life and healing are the end, not the opposite.

That Song of Moses in chapter 32 has eternal value because in the Last Days they will sing the Song of Moses.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sukkot Sameach

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Sukkot Feast of Tabernacles Readings and Commentary

1st day: Hallel; Lev 22:26-23:44; Numbers 29:12-16; Haftara: Zech 14
2nd day: Hallel; Lev 22:26-23:44; Numbers 29:12-16; Haftara: 1.Kings 8:2-21

The Feast of Tabernacles is a fest of joy, Hag Sukkot Sameach, and we want to invite you to shake the lulav and to feel it beating the heart, okay? Please feel invited to have a look into a Sukkah in a childreans song: read more…

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Sukkot Feast of Tabernacles Readings and Commentary

1st day: Hallel; Lev 22:26-23:44; Numbers 29:12-16; Haftara: Zech 14
2nd day: Hallel; Lev 22:26-23:44; Numbers 29:12-16; Haftara: 1.Kings 8:2-21

The Feast of Tabernacles is a fest of joy, Hag Sukkot Sameach, and we want to invite you to shake the lulav and to feel it beating the heart, okay? Please feel invited to have a look into a Sukkah in a childreans song: read more…

Comments are off for this post

Simchat Torah and Shabbat Bereshit Readings and Commentary

Shemini Atzeret: Hallel, Deuteronomy 14:22-16:17 , Numbers 29:35-30:1, Kings 1, 8:54-66
Simchat Torah: Hallel, Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12, Genesis 1:1-2:3, Numbers 29:35-30:1, Joshua 1:1-18

Shabbat Bereshit: Genesis 1:1-6:8; Haftara: Isaiah 42:5-43:10

The Hallel, consisting of Psalms 113 – 118, is recited for Sukkot like for Pesach (or Passover, where the Israelites were freed from the slavery in Egypt), for several other occasions but also for Shavuot, were the giving of the Torah is celebrated. And the last day of Sukkot – also the last day the Hallel is recited in this period – is Simchat Torah, what a day, what a prayer, what a praise! But firstly we want to emphasize on a praise which is recited in every time of prayer, so on Simchat Torah also, the Kaddish:

Here the Kaddish is explained by Israel Yaoz (see below) But first the pure text of the prayer is provided:

May the great Name of God be exalted and sanctified, throughout the world, which he has created according to his will. May his Kingship be established in your lifetime and in your days, and in the lifetime of the entire household of Israel, swiftly and in the near future; and say, Amen.
May his great name be blessed, forever and ever.
Blessed, praised, glorified, exalted, extolled, honored elevated and lauded be the Name of the holy one, Blessed is he- above and beyond any blessings and hymns, Praises and consolations which are uttered in the world; and say Amen. May there be abundant peace from Heaven, and life, upon us and upon all Israel; and say, Amen.

This is a short summary of what Avigdor Shinan, Professor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, wrote in 2009 (ISBN 978-965-13-2082-8) about one of the most important prayers in Judaism, the Kaddisch..

Even most of the non-religeous Jews pray the Kaddish though they often may not fully understand its implications. The Kaddish is the prayer for the dead.

It is in the Arameic language, while almost every other traditional Jewish prayer is in biblical Hebrew. It begins with: „Be His name exalted and sanctified!“ Everybody knows which name is meant here, but the holy name itself is never being mentioned. Instead it is represented by „Adonai“ (= my LORD).

Every prayer in the Sidur is related to biblical events or biblical relations, but not so this prayer.

In the Kaddish there is no word mentioning the dead, or death, or pain, or yearning or suffering. It is all about gloryfing the name of God and His justice in all of His decisions, whether they bring to us good or even suffering.

In the Mishna, the „Verbal Torah“ of the second century C.E., there is no mentioning of what developed later into the Kaddish.

To his own surprise, Prof. Shinan found a first hint to the beginnings of the Kaddish in the Sermon on the Mount of Jeshua: „When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you… This, then, is how you should pray: ‚Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name …“ (Mattew 6:6-9).

Most likely Jesus was teaching this prayer to his disciples in Arameic. It is a very personal prayer between man and his creator and was used in different variations. It was „not a fixed formula, and not a community prayer for use the synagoge or in religious congregations, and so it was not necessity to be mentioned in the Mishna“.

I don´t want to go into further details of the long and complicated history of the Kaddish in the past, but I want to sum up, what the Kaddish is today: It is the standard prayer of the bereaved for children, for parents, for close relatives or for other loved ones, to commemorate them, and to pray for their eternal salvation.

A strong influence to the formation and practice of the Kaddish has come from the hard times of cruel persecution, during the crusades and the many pogroms. In these traumatic events it granted some comfort and consolation to the suffering, in praising the holy name of God who is just even when man does not understand it. There might have been even some christian influence, like some commemorating ceremonies and the custom of lighting candles for the dead.

May be it was not so much the unfamiliar (Arameic) words of the Kaddish, or its theological meaning, but much more so some subconscious feeling of being in a comforting communion with the whole people of Israel, her long history of suffering, and with her strong collective hope for a better future, what made the Kaddish into such a strong tradition. The soft murmuring of this prayer might also have had a genuine comforting influence on the mood of the bereaved.

Last mentioned ambivalence is also significant for Simchat Torah: the last paragraph of Deuteronomy (Devarim) is recited directly followed by the new, the first paragraph of Genesis (Bereshit).

Dancing and singing in the synagogue on Simchat Torah (the vigor of the dancing and degree of festive merriment varies with congregational temperament:)

Hag Sameach
Eric Martienssen

See also the commentary on Shabbat Bereshit by Rabbi Chaim Richman from The Temple Institute, Jerusalem, click ►

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Sukkot the Feast of Tabernacles Readings and Commentary

2009, October 3 – 11
1st day: Hallel; Lev 22:26-23:44; Numbers 29:12-16; Haftara: Zech 14
2nd day: Hallel; Lev 22:26-23:44; Numbers 29:12-16; Haftara: 1.Kings 8:2-21

The Feast of Tabernacles is a fest of joy, Hag Sukkot Sameach, and we want to invite you to shake the lulav and to feel it beating the heart, okay? Go ahead: read more…

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