I write this short missive quite epically late on our Wednesday deadline day of our biggest Rosh Hashanah edition (and biggest edition ever!) at over 200 pages. I am mostly at a loss for words. It’s partly exhaustion from the last few days of intense work and activity on behalf of our paper (this week’s edition is always one of our biggest of the year) but it’s also partially due to the fact that I am looking ahead to Rosh Hashanah next week, which is one of my favorite of the Yomim Tovim, with some excitement and trepidation.
Since Selichot began last week, I have been constantly humming the Selichot niggun/tune and have just begun to also start humming some of my favorite Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur davening tunes. Most of us know these tunes well but probably don’t hum them like I do. This is an old habit of mine that few outside of my family know about but I have always felt that the humming during these weeks helps get me in the right mood and frame of mind. I know that there are others out there who do the same thing.
I have always felt that the days of Rosh Hashanah represented a kind of perfect balance for the committed religious Jew. Yes, the davening is longer. But, with a good chazan, that’s not that big of a deal. It’s a substantial davening with a longer Shemoneh Esrei and Chazarat HaShatz, but also not as long as the all-day Yom Kippur davening. On Rosh Hashanah, most are still able to start the Yom Tov lunch at a relatively reasonable time and still have a few hours to be with one’s family, relax, learn, go to Tashlich, etc.
It also falls out at a time of year when the day is getting shorter but not that short so you don’t feel like you have to run for Mincha/Maariv within an hour or so of finishing lunch. I have just felt that if you take the yom tov seriously, as I believe most in our readership do, it’s a good and healthy balance between all of the things that are important to us as committed, God fearing Jews.
I had hoped to possibly throw in a short and choice d’var Torah about Tishrei and the upcoming Yomim Tovim (Dad—thanks for the Torah ideas you gave me, and sorry I didn’t use them), but the challenges and many, many important and nearly unending distractions via email, Whatsapp, phone, FB Messenger, text, you name it, etc.) of our deadlines have gotten the better of me, unfortunately. Apologies on this score.
A heartfelt Chtiva V’Chatima Tova to our editors, writers and staff who enable this paper to come to fruition every week and work so hard to make it so. A similarly heartfelt Chtiva V’Chatima Tova to all of our advertisers and partners who support our efforts and whom we would not be here without. And of course, best wishes and a Shana Tova U’metukah to all of our special and beloved readers and communities who welcome our paper into their homes every week and every Yom Tov! We would also not have succeeded without you. It is my hope and wish that the new year ahead—5782—be filled with more bracha and success than sorrow for all of you and the Jewish people.
P.S. I also want to let everyone know that starting with this week’s Rosh Hashanah edition and again for our Sukkot edition in two weeks, we will be delivering to South Florida (See the box on page 104!)
By Moshe Kinderlehrer/
Co-Publisher, The Jewish Link