A Blast

From: Roland in Chicago Dear Rabbi, If the Torah tells us to hear the shofar on Rosh Hashana, why do we make so many blasts? Wouldn’t it seem from the Torah that one would be enough? I think we make a hundred! Dear Roland, The Torah mentions blowing the shofar three times, using the term[…]


From: Naftali in Denver Dear Rabbi, Is Rosh Hashana important only because of its being the Day of Judgment, or is there some other significance to the day as well, such as we find regarding other holidays where several important things happened or are associated with that day? Dear Naftali, Rosh Hashana is on the[…]


From: Arthur in Chicago Dear Rabbi, Since in addition to being the beginning of the New Year, Rosh Hashana is also the first day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, why don’t we say “hallel” on Rosh Hashana as on other days of Rosh Chodesh? Dear Arthur, Good question. Since Rosh Hashana is the Day[…]

Penitence Before Judgment

From: Scott in Ireland Dear Rabbi, I am uncertain as to why Rosh Hashana, the Day of Judgment, precedes Yom Kippur, the Day of Repentance. Shouldn’t we first repent, and then be judged? Dear Scott, You ask a very good question. And you are right, repentance should precede judgment. In fact, there are several times[…]

Foregoing Blowing

From: A.A. Dear Rabbi, Rosh Hashana will soon be with us, and this year we will not be blowing the shofar on the first day because it is Shabbat. I would like to understand more deeply why we have this custom. Is it because we don’t use ritual objects on Shabbat? But we read from[…]

Virtual Forgiveness

From: E.T. in Denver Dear Rabbi, Is it permissible to ask for “mechila” (forgiveness) over an email network rather than in person? I know it’s not preferable, but many of us work in large networked environments. We considered the option of sending it receipt-requested to a specific address rather than an all-points broadcast. Thanks! Dear[…]