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Shalom Aleichem "peace be upon you"

Commandment Keepers Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation

Beth Ha-Tefilah Headquarters Synagogue


Sabbath "Shabbat" is the weekly memorial of God's resting on the seventh day; a day of rest which is central to Israelite Belief. Shabbat is essentially a cornerstone in Israelite religious practice. The concept of Shabbat first occurs in Genesis "Bereshit" 2:1-3 "And on the seventh day God finished His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made...because that in it He rested from all His work which God in creating had made." Shabbat is also reflected in the Torah by its inclusion in the fourth of the Ten Commandments: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." Shemot (Exodus) 20:7  

              Shabbat also reminds as that God redeemed us from Egypt: 

"I am the LORD thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt... Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD thy God commanded thee. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is a sabbath unto the LORD thy God, in it thou shalt not do any manner of work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy man-servant and thy maid-servant may rest as well as thou. And thou shalt remember that thou was a servant in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God brought thee out thence by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day." Deuteronomy "Davarim" 5:6, 12-14

12 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying:

13 'Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying: Verily ye shall keep My sabbaths, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that ye may know that I am the LORD who sanctify you.

14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore, for it is holy unto you; every one that profaneth it shall surely be put to death; for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

15 Six days shall work be done; but on the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD; whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel for ever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He ceased from work and rested.' Exodus Chapter 31: שְׁמוֹת 12-16

If thou turn away thy foot because of the sabbath, from pursuing thy business on My holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, and the holy of the LORD honourable; and shalt honour it, not doing thy wonted ways, nor pursuing thy business, nor speaking thereof - Isaiah 58:13


Beginning of a new Hebrew month

He made the moon to mark the seasons Psalm 104:19

The sun is the symbol of unchanging nature,

rising in the east, setting in the west, day in and day out every day of the year,

the moon changes; and is a symbol of human renewal...

The New Moon - A Minor Festival

May it be your will our God and God of our forefathers,

that You inaugurate this month upon us for goodness and for blessing.

May You give us long life – a life of peace, a life of goodness, a life of blessing,

a life of sustenance, a life of physical health, a life in which there is fear of heaven and fear of sin,

a life in which there is no shame or humiliation, a life of wealth and honor, a life in which we will

have love of Torah and fear of heaven, a life in which our heartfelt requests will be fulfilled for the good.


"And God said to Moses ... in the land of Egypt, say to the Israelite people: This month is for you the beginning of the months ..." (Exodus 12:1-2)

Passover "Pesach"

Chag HaMatzot

Festival of Unleavened Bread

Season of Our Liberation

Counting of the Omer (Hebrew: ספירת העומר‎‎)

Sefirat HaOmer

A fundamental principle of the Torah is that all of our assets, income, and prosperity come from God. The period of the Omer derives its name from a special sacrificial offering that was brought in the Temple.

Before any newly grown grains – wheat, barley, oats, rye, and spelt – may be eaten, the equivalent of one day’s worth of barley flour (for one person) must be offered in the Temple on the second day of Pesach. This offering of barley flour is known as the Omer offering. (Today, without the Temple, the new grains are permitted after the conclusion of the second day of Pesach).

The Biblical Source - Vayikra (Leviticus) 23: 9 - 11

The Omer offering at the start of the new harvest.

וידבר יקוק אל משה לאמר דבר אל בני ישראל ואמרת

אלהם כי תבאו אל הארץ אשר אני נתן לכם וקצרתם

את קצירה והבאתם את עמר ראשית קצירכם אל

הכהן: והניף את העמר לפני יקוק לרצנכם ממחרת

השבת יניפנו הכהן:

God spoke to Moshe (Moses) saying, “Speak to

the Children of Israel and say to them: When you

come to the land that I am giving you and you

reap the harvest, you shall bring the Omer of the

first of your harvest to the Kohen. He shall wave

the Omer before God to be an appeasement for

you; on the day following the Sabbath (the first

day of Pesach) the Kohen shall wave it.”

Sefirat HaOmer is a verbal counting of each of the forty-nine days between Pesach and Shavuot as stated in Vayikra : 23: 15-16

טו וּסְפַרְתֶּם לָכֶם, מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת, מִיּוֹם הֲבִיאֲכֶם, אֶת-עֹמֶר הַתְּנוּפָה: שֶׁבַע שַׁבָּתוֹת, תְּמִימֹת תִּהְיֶינָה.

טז עַד מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת הַשְּׁבִיעִת, תִּסְפְּרוּ חֲמִשִּׁים יוֹם; וְהִקְרַבְתֶּם מִנְחָה חֲדָשָׁה, לַיהוָה.

15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the day of rest, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the waving; seven weeks shall there be complete;

16 even unto the morrow after the seventh week shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall present a new meal-offering unto the LORD.

Counting the Omer

The mitzvah in the Torah is to count the days and weeks from the second day of Pesach until the evening before Shavuot, a total of forty-nine days. The days of the Omer are a time of preparation for Shavuot, which parallels the period between the Exodus from Egypt and the Giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai.

From the second night of Passover until the night before the Feast of Weeks "Shavuot," the Omer is counted, standing, every evening after it has become dark, the one who is counting the Omer recites this blessing:

Baruch atah A-donai E-loheinu Melekh Ha-olam asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu al S'firat HaOmer.

(Translation: Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to count the Omer.)

Shavuot 2017 will begin in the evening of Tuesday, May 30 and ends in the evening of Thursday, June 1. Shavuot comes at the completion of the forty-nine-day counting of the Omer. The forty-nine days of the Omer are intended to link the festival of Pesach with Shavuot, connecting the miracles of the Exodus with Ma’amad Har Sinai – the Giving of the Torah to the Israelite people on Mount Sinai. On the first day of Shavuot, we read Exodus 19 and 20, which tell of the giving of the Ten Commandments also known as the Decalogue. 

Shemot (Exodus) 20:2-14 –

The Ten Commandments.

"Asert Ha-Dibrot"

1 And God spoke all these words, saying:

2 I am the LORD thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.

3 Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any manner of likeness, of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 4 thou shalt not bow down unto them, nor serve them; for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; 5 and showing mercy unto the thousandth generation of them that love Me and keep My commandments.6 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain. 7 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

8 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; 9 but the seventh day is a sabbath unto the LORD thy God, in it thou shalt not do any manner of work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; 10 for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day; wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. 11 Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 12 Thou shalt not murder. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 13 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's. 14 And all the people perceived the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the voice of the horn, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled, and stood afar off.

During the month of Elul and in the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we dedicate ourselves to self introspection and transformation - we return "teshuvah" - we change our thoughts and dedicate this time to spiritually transform and seek a closer connection with the Creator.

Prayers of Repentance

Shabbat Shuvah ("Sabbath [of] Return" שבת שובה) refers to the Shabbat that occurs during the Ten Days of Repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This Shabbat is named after the first word of the Haftarah (Hosea 14:2-10) and literally means "Return!" Shabbat Shuvah begins at sundown on Friday, September 14, 2018

Commandment Keepers Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation

– Beth Ha-Tefilah Headquarters

High Holy Day Liturgy and Rituals

Rabbi Zechariah HaLewi Ibn Abraham - Rosh Hashannah

Blowing the Shofar

Shofar Service - Four Sounds "Tekiyot"

Hearing the call of the Shofar during Mussaf service (the additional service):

Tekiah – 1 blast

Shevarim – 3 wavering continuous blasts

Teruah 9 staccato blasts

Tekiah Gedolah the elongated, solid note that is blown as the last blast of the shofar service. The regular tekiah is a note of joy – the tekiah gedolah is a triumphant shout that reaches out to the hearts of all to assure them that their prayers have been heard.

Rosh Hashanah

The Day of Judgment is Here

Shachrit (Morning) service

God is

“Hamelekh” (The King)

Numbers Chapter 29

1 And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have a holy convocation: ye shall do no manner of servile work; it is a day of blowing the horn unto you.

Water is Symbolic of Life...

Pesach / פסח

Passover (Hebrew: פֶּסַח Pesach) commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan.

Exodus Chapter 13 שְׁמוֹת

1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying:

3 ...'Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place; there shall no leavened bread be eaten.

8 And thou shalt tell thy son in that day, saying: It is because of that which the LORD did for me when I came forth out of Egypt.

9 And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thy hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the law of the LORD may be in thy mouth; for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt.

10 Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in its season from year to year.

14 And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying: What is this? that thou shalt say unto him: By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage;

16 And it shall be for a sign upon thy hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes; for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt.'

21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; that they might go by day and by night:

Pesach (Shemot 12:2-13) - a one day event during which we sacrifice a lamb to commemorate our rescue from the Plague of the Firstborn.

Chag HaMatzot (Shemot 12:15-20) - a seven day holiday whose essence is the abstention from chametz and the eating of matzah as a reminder of the process of our redemption from Egypt.

Pirkei Avot

"Chapters of the Fathers"

One chapter of Pirkei Avot is recited on each Shabbat of the Omer period.

In the course of such study, it is common to preface each chapter with the Mishnaic saying, "All Israel has a share in the world to come" (Sanhedrin 10:1), and to conclude each chapter with the saying, "The Holy One, blessed be He, wished to bestow merit upon Israel; therefore he gave them Torah and mitzvot in abundance" (Makkoth 3:16). From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pirkei Avot "Avot" Chapter 1:1-2

1 Moshe received the Torah from Sinai and transmitted it to Yehoshua, and Yehoshua to the Elders, and the Elders to the Prophets, and the Prophets transmitted it to the Men of the Great Assembly. They said three things: Be deliberate in judgment, raise up many disciples and make a fence for the Torah.

2 Shimon the Righteous was from the remnants of the Great Assembly. He would say, "On three things the world stands: on the Torah, on the service and on acts of lovingkindness."

"If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And when I am for myself, what am 'I'? And if not now, when?" (Avot 1:14).

Monday Night May 29, 2017 is forty-nine days, which is seven weeks of the Omer.

Day 49 (5 Sivan) we celebrate the completion of the Counting of the Omer, the seven weeks from Pesach to Shavuot.

On Shavuot we celebrate the commemoration of Ma’amad Har Sinai (the Giving of the Torah) when God gave the Torah on Mt. Sinai to the Israelite people.

The Torah teaches that the entire nation stood at Mt. Sinai to witness the giving of the Law. 

Shavuot - Chag Sameach!

 The giving of the Torah

"Matan Torah"

Shavuot marks the wheat harvest in the Land of Israel (Exodus 34:22); and it commemorates the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to the entire nation of Israel assembled at Mount Sinai.


During the month of Elul, it is customary to blow the shofar every morning (except on Shabbat) from Rosh Chodesh to the the day before Rosh Hashanah. Elul begins the process of granting and asking for forgiveness. Rosh Chodesh Elul begins at sundown on Friday, August 10, 2018. 

High Holy Days 5778 (2017)

Rosh Hashanah 5778

Rosh Hashanah is marked by the blowing of the shofar, and begins the ten days of penitence culminating in Yom Kippur. The Bible refers to Rosh Hashanah as Yom Ha-Zikkaron (the day of remembrance) or Yom Teruah (the day of the sounding of the shofar). The biblical reference is in Leviticus 23:24-25.

Rosh Hashanah 2018 will begin in the evening of Sunday, September 9 and ends in the evening of Tuesday, September 11

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Erev Rosh Hashanah Seder

Simanim "signs or indicators" Symbolic 







Fish/Sheep Head

Apple and Honey

"Black Eyed Peas"

Tashlich the symbolic "casting off of sins" is a ceremony observed on the first day of Rosh Hashanah

afternoon, before sunset. Israelites, proceed to a body of flowing water, preferably one containing fish where Israelites symbolically cast off sins by casting into the body of water an apple with a message embedded inside or the casting of bread crumbs. Reference for this ceremony can be found in Micah 7:19: “He will take us back in love; He will cover up our iniquities. You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”

Psalms 118: "1 'O give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good, for His mercy endureth for ever...'

Psalms 130: "1 A Song of Ascents.

Out of the depths have I called Thee, O LORD...8 And He will redeem Israel from all his iniquities."

May God treat Israel with mercy...

"...Toward the shorelines. Toward the separation Between Who I am and Who I want to be. I read the words and I inhale their meaning. As I approach the waters edge, From my pocket I pull the Crumbs of my sins and cast them Into the September waters..." Jeff Bernhardt 

Rosh Hashanah, Day 1 Torah Reading Genesis 21,1-34 and Numbers 29,1-6

Haftarah Reading 1 Samuel 1,1-2,10

Rosh Hashanah, Day 2 Torah Reading Genesis 22,1-24 and Numbers 29,1-6

Haftarah Reading Jeremiah 31, 2-20

Shabbat Shuvah

Torah Parashat Ha'Azinu Torah Reading Deuteronomy 32:1 - 32:52

Haftarah Reading Hosea 14,2-10; Joel 2,15-27; (Hosea 14,2-10; Micah 7,18-20)

Yom Kippur 5778. May it be written and may it be sealed that you have a new year that brings fulfillment and joy, peace and prosperity health and wisdom. Shanah tova!” Yom Kippur 2018 will begin in the evening of Tuesday, September 18 and ends in the evening of Wednesday, September 0.mbers Chapter 297 And on the tenth day of this seventh month ye shall have a holy convocation; and ye shall afflict your souls; ye shall do no manner of work;

Yom Kippur, Morning

Torah Reading Leviticus 16,1-34; Numbers 29,7-11

Haftarah Reading Isaiah 57,14-58,14

Yom Kippur, Afternoon

Torah Reading Leviticus 18,1-30

Haftarah Reading Jonah 1,1-4,11; Micah 7,18-20

Numbers Chapter 29

12 And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month ye shall have a holy convocation: ye shall do no manner of servile work, and ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days;

Sukkot 2018 will begin in the evening of

Monday, September 24 and ends in the evening of Tuesday, October 1

Sukkot, Day 1 Torah Reading Leviticus 22,26-23,44; Numbers 29,12-16

Haftarah Reading Zechariah 14,1-21