Yom Tov Notes

Listen. Connect. Reflect. Repeat.
Chasoif (Eli Marcus)

Chasoif (Eli Marcus)

After we light the menorah, as we bask in its glow, we thank and praise Hashem for the miracle of our continued existence, and express our longing for the Ultimate Redemption. The final verse of Maoz Tzur conveys our hopeful longing for Mashiach’s arrival, when darkness will be dispelled and the light of holiness will illuminate the world forever after.

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🕯 R’ Yisroel Yaakov (Jeffrey) Craimer – 18th of Elul

🕯 R’ Yisroel Yaakov (Jeffrey) Craimer – 18th of Elul

In shul, as we reach the pinnacle of the Yom Kippur avodah, there is a palpable feeling of elation in the air when we read this special piyut. Using magnificent expression and splendid portrayal of imagery, this esoteric sonnet portrays the Kohen Gadol’s safe emergence and successful departure from the Holy of Holies on this wondrous day.

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Amech Ami (Kol Achai)

Amech Ami (Kol Achai)

Rus clung tearfully to her mother-in-law Naomi, and begged to be allowed to go back with her to Eretz Yisroel; back to a Land ravaged by famine and to a life that would surely be fraught with difficulties. “Where you will go, I will go. Where you will stay, I will stay. Your Nation is My Nation and Your G-d is my G-d as well.” What an amazing and powerful statement!

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Aish (Shwekey)

Aish (Shwekey)

By revealing the P’nimius haTorah, Rabi Shimon made us fully aware that we need only to look within ourselves to find a roaring fire, a G-dly soul, thirsty for true meaning and a burning desire for the Divine. Lag Ba’omer is a day on which we can fan those inner flames until they become an enduring source of warmth and light, able, then, to ignite and illuminate the way for others as well. And that is something to celebrate.

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Va’ani B’chasdecha (Chait)

Va’ani B’chasdecha (Chait)

The Yidden proclaimed, וַאֲנִי בְּחַסְדְּךָ בָטַחְתִּי יָגֵל לִבִּי בִּישׁוּעָתֶךָ – My enemies think that there is no one to save me, but I trust in Your infinite kindness, my heart will rejoice in Your salvation. אָשִׁירָה לְהַשֵּׁם כִּי גָמַל עָלָי – I will sing to Hashem because he has dealt kindly with me (Tehillim 13:6)!

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Lev Nishbar (Naftali Kempeh)

Lev Nishbar (Naftali Kempeh)

A broken heart allows us to be vulnerable. It allows us to see clearly that there is nothing more important than our relationship with the Borei Olam. It enables us to reach up to Him from a place of humility, to admit our dependence on Him and to readily accept His Kingship. It is for these reasons and more that a broken heart is extremely dear and precious to Hashem.

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