August 30, 2007
Happy New Year—shofar so good!
Quiz answers at the bottom of this page
Whether you spend Rosh Hashanah in services, in the kids' room or in the hallway, when it's time for the shofar to blow everyone listens. Fill in the blanks with the words below and learn more about the shofar (visit jewishjournal.com for the answers):
The shofar is made from a _______'s horn, which is blown a lot like a ________. Hearing the sounding of the shofar in synagogue is considered one of the "_____" of the holiday, but the shofar is not blown if Rosh Hashanah falls on ________.
Blowing the shofar marks the beginning of the ___ ____. It tells us to "____ __" and is tied into the second day's _____ portion, the Binding of _____ (Genesis, chapter 22), where God tests ________'s faith by asking him to sacrifice his son. Abraham is about to sacrifice Isaac when an _____ stops him. Abraham finds a ram and kills it instead. (There's a lot more to this story, but you'll hear about it all in shul.)
There are different types of shofar notes: tekiah, a three-second one; _________, three notes; teruah, nine short blasts; and _____ _______ ("the big one"), the final blast. Some people hold the note so long their face turns red. When you add it up, a total of 100 ______ are sounded each day.
For the secular New Year, many people like to make a resolution - a promise - that they'll do something in a different way in the coming year. YeLAdim wants to know if you have a resolution for the Jewish New Year: Will you be nicer to your brother, sister or friend? Clean your room? Call your bubbe more? Stop putting off homework?
In addition to resolutions, Rosh Hashanah is a time to ask forgiveness for bad things we might have done during the past year: Did you yell at a friend? Did you play with your brother's PSP without asking? Did you read your sister's diary?
YeLAdim is giving you the chance to make resolutions and ask forgiveness. Tell us what you plan to change in 5768 or what you'd like to be forgiven for. You can send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll print your responses, and, who knows, maybe you'll inspire others.
Make A Date
YeLAdim loves a good weekly planner - and we came across a really cool one: "The Calendar of the Jewish People - The Animated Edition (starring The Jewish Day That Starts at Night)." With its cute graphics, info boxes and helpful backgrounds on the holidays, you won't have to shlep around both a Hebrew and a secular calendar. For more information, visit http://www.jewishcalendar.com.
Last month we asked for your thoughts on the final book in the "Harry Potter" series: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." Here's what you told us:
"I do think that J.K Rowling should write more books. I have not finished the book yet, but I just think that she should write another series, because I like her books a lot."
- Noam, 10, West Hills
It is tempting to look for big Jewish issues in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows": the centrality of the soul (nefesh), the importance of community, our enemies' obsession with blood-status and labels. Given that we read this book during the first nine days of Av, I am even tempted to note how the choice to do what is right vs. what is easy reminds me of Jeremiah and Lamentations.
But in the end, I just want to point out that Anthony Goldstein is in the hideout with Dumbledore's Army, ready to fight.
- David Lynn, Tarzana
ANSWERS to SHOFAR, SO GOOD:
Ram, trumpet, musts, Shabbat, New Year, wake up, Torah, Isaac, Abraham, angel, shevarim, tekiah gedolah, notes