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Glossary of High Holiday Terms

Kever Avot.   (קֶבֶר אָבוֹת)  The custom of visiting the graves of loves ones during the High Holidays.  For those who cannot make the trip to those graves, a service at a local cemetary provides an opportunity to say Kaddish and reflect on their loved ones. 

Kol Nidre (כָּל נִדְרֵי): The prayer recited at the beginning of Yom Kippur evening service, emphasizing the importance of keeping vows and promises.

Lulav and Etrog (לוּלָב וְאֶתְרוֹג): The four species (palm, myrtle, willow, and citron) held together and waved during the holiday of Sukkot.

Machzor (מַחְזוֹר): A special prayer book used during the High Holidays, containing the liturgy and readings specific to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Rosh Hashanah (רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה): The Jewish New Year, which falls on the first and second days of the month of Tishrei in the Hebrew calendar. It marks the beginning of the Ten Days of Repentance.

Shemini Atzeret (שְׁמִינִי עֲצֶרֶת): A holiday immediately following the seventh day of Sukkot, considered a separate holiday in its own right. Yizkor is recited at this service.

Simchat Torah (שִׂמְחַת תּוֹרָה): A joyous holiday marking the conclusion of the annual cycle of Torah readings and the beginning of a new cycle. It is celebrated with dancing and rejoicing.

Sukkot (סוּכּוֹת): A weeklong festival, celebrated five days after Yom Kippur.  Jews build and dwell in (or simply have meals in) temporary booths (sukkot) to commemorate the wandering in the desert after the exodus from Egypt. Many of the rituals, including shaking the lulav and etrog, relate to thanking God for the harvest. 

Shofar (שׁוֹפָר): A ram's horn blown during Rosh Hashanah and at the conclusion of Yom Kippur. It serves as a wake-up call for introspection and repentance. There are three main types of shofar blasts: Tekiah  (תקיעה‎), Shevarim (שברים‎), Teruah (תרועה‎).  (see Tekiah Gedola)

Tashlich (תַּשְׁלִיךְ): A ritual performed on the afternoon of Rosh Hashanah, where people symbolically cast their sins into flowing water, throwing breadcrumbs or pebbles.

Tekiah Gadola  (תקיעה גדלה ‎) A  single long blast of the shofar. On Yom Kippur,  it marks the end of Neilah, the final service of day. 

Ten Days of Repentance (עֲשֶׂרֶת יְמֵי תְשׁוּבָה): The period of introspection and repentance that begins on Rosh Hashanah and concludes with Yom Kippur, during which individuals sincerely ask forgiveness of those they have harmed and forgiveness from God.

Yizkor (יִזְכּוֹר): A memorial service held on Yom Kippur and other Jewish holidays to honor and remember deceased loved ones.

Yom Kippur (יוֹם כִּפּוּר): The Day of Atonement. It is considered the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, dedicated to fasting, prayer, and repentance.

 

 

Wed, May 22 2024 14 Iyyar 5784