The Rosh Hashanah Seder
1. Candle Lighting
Barukh atah Adonai, Elohaynu melekh ha-Olam
Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the Universes
Asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav, v’tzianu
who santifies us with his commandments, and commands
l’had’lik neir shel yom tov (Amein)
to light the candles of the holiday (Amen)
Barukh atah Adonai, Elohaynu, melekh ha-olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, king of the universe
She-hecheeyanu v’keey’manu v’heegeeyanu la-z’man ha-zeh (Amein)
who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season (Amen)
3. Kiddush Blessing over the wine
Barukh atah Adonai, Elohaynu, melekh ha-olam boray pri hagafen.
4. Ha-Motzi-Blessing over the Bread
Barukh atah Adonai, Elohaynu, melekh ha-olam ha-motzi lechem min ha-aretz.
Blesses are you, Lord, our God, king of the universe who has brought us bread from the Earth.
5. The Shofar
If you have one, sound it now. and read:
(From Rabbi Moses ben Maimon)
“The sounding of the Shofar on the New Year, a decree of the Written Law, has a deep meaning, as if saying, “Awake, awake, O sleeper, from your sleep; O slumberous, arouse yourselves from your slumbers; examine your deeds, return in repentance, and remember your Creator.
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Those of you who forget the truth in the follies of the times and go astray the whole year in vanity and emptiness (which neither profit nor save,) look to your souls; improve your ways and works. Abandon, every one of you, your evil course, and your thoughts that are not good.
It is necessary, therefore, that each person should regard himself throughout the year as if he were half innocent and half guilty and should regard the whole of mankind as half innocent and half guilty. If then he commits one more sin, he presses down the scale of guilt against himself and the whole world and causes his destruction. If he fulfills one commandment, he turns the scale of merit in his favor and in favor of the whole world, and brings salvation and deliverance to all his fellow creatures and to himself, as it is said, “The righteous are the foundation of the world” (Prov.10:25) that is to say, one who acts justly presses down the scale of merit in favor of all the world and saves it.
Because of these considerations, all are accustomed to increase their charities and other good deeds form the New Year to the Day of Atonement and engage in meritorious actions during this period to a greater degree than during the rest of the year. All are accustomed to arise while it is still night and to pray until the dawn, with fervent entreaties and supplications.
6. The Shema
Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad
Here, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One
Barukh Shem k’vod malkhuto l’olam va-ed
Blessed be the Name of His glorius kingdom for ever and ever
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be in your heart. And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall speak of them when you sit at home, and when you walk along the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up. And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your home and upon your gates.
7. For discussion:
A. What is perfect repentance? (Answers Rabbi Moses ben Maimon)
“ It is so when an opportunity presents itself for repeating an offence once committed, and the offender, while able to commit the offence, nevertheless refrains from doing so, because he is penitent and not out of fear or failure of vigor. “
B. What is Tshuva?
(Answers Rabbi Moses ben Maimon)
“ It consists in this: that the sinner abandon his sin, remove from his thoughts, and resolve in his heart never to repeat it, as it is said,”
“let the wicked forsake his way, and the man of iniquity his thoughts” (Is. 55:7);
that we regret the past, as it is said,
“Surely, after that I turned I repented, after that I was instructed.” (Jer. 31:19);
that s/he calls the God who knows all secrets to witness that we will never return to our sin again,
as it is said,” neither will we call any more the work of our hands our God, for in Thee the fatherless find mercy” (Hos. 14:4)
It is also necessary that we make oral confession and utter the resolutions which we made in our heart.
C. “All the prophets charged the people concerning repentance. Only though repentance will Israel be redeemed, and the Torah already offered the assurance that Israel will, in the closing period of exile, finally repent, and thereupon be immediately redeemed, as it is said.
“ And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you shall take it to heart among all the nations, wherever the Lord your God has driven you, and shall return to the Lord your God, and hearken to His voice according to all that I command you this day, you and your children, with all your heart, and with all your soul, that the Lord your God will turn your captivity, and have mercy upon you, and will return and gather you from all the nations, wherever the Lord your God has scatted you” (Deut. 30:1-3)
9. Apples and Honey
After your Seder dinner dip an apple in honey and wish everyone a year of study and worship and of turning our lives around.
During Rosh Hashanah, it is traditional to eat apples dipped in honey, to symbolize our hopes for a sweet new year. The apple is dipped in honey the blessing for eating fruit is recited, the apple is tasted, and then the apples and honey prayer is recited.
Barukh atah Adonai, Elohaynu, melekh ha-olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, king of the universe borei p’riy ha-eitz (Amein)
who creates the fruit of the tree (Amen)
Take a bite from the apple dipped in honey, then continue with the following:
Y’hee ratzon mee-l’fanekha, Adonai Elohaynu v’elohey avoteynu
May it be Your will, Lord our God and God of our
sh’tichadeish aleinu shanah tovah um’tuqah.
That you renew us for a good and sweet year. (Amen)
Next year in Jerusalem
May we all worship in Isaiah’s Temple. A House of Prayer for All People.