Sichos In English   Holidays   Shabbat   Chabad-houses   Chassidism   Subscribe   Calendar   Links B"H

     Sichos In English -> Books -> Halachah & Customs -> Sefer HaMinhagim


On the Observance of Customs

Morning Conduct

The Chitas Study Cycles Instituted by the Rebbe Rayatz: Chumash, Tehillim, Tanya

Washing the Hands (Netilas Yadayim) before Meals; Grace After Meals (Birkas HaMazon) & Other Blessings

The Prayer for Travelers: Tefillas HaDerech

Circumcision: Bris Milah

The Afternoon Service: Minchah

The Evening Service: Maariv

Prayer Before Retiring at Night: Kerias Shema


Rosh Chodesh

Months and Holidays

   The Month of Nissan

Pesach: The Seder and the Haggadah

The Priestly Blessing

The Seventh and Eighth Days of Pesach

The Period of Sefiras HaOmer and Lag BaOmer

Beis Iyar

The Month of Sivan

Vav Sivan: The First Day of Shavuos

Gimmel Tammuz

Yud-Beis and Yud-Gimmel Tammuz

The Three Weeks and Public Fasts

Chaf Menachem Av

The Month of Elul

Distinctive Customs of Elul, Rosh HaShanah, the Ten Days of Penitence and Yom Kippur

Liturgical Supplement for the Days of Awe

Vav Tishrei

Yud-Gimmel Tishrei

Sukkos, Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah

The Month of MarCheshvan

The Month of Kislev


Gimmel DeChanukah

The Month of Teves

The Month of Shvat

The Month of Adar



Mourning: Semachos


Miscellaneous Topics

Founders of Chassidism & Leaders of Chabad-Lubavitch


Sefer HaMinhagim
The Book of Chabad-Lubavitch Customs

Months and Holidays
Distinctive Customs of Elul, Rosh HaShanah, the Ten Days of Penitence and Yom Kippur
Translated by Uri Kaploun

Published and copyright © by Sichos In English
(718) 778-5436     FAX (718) 735-4139

Add to Shopping Cart   |   Buy this nowFor Palm Pilot
  The Month of ElulLiturgical Supplement for the Days of Awe  


(a) Elul:

On the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul one begins the daily reading of ledavid Hashem ori (Siddur, p. 81). [The reading continues every day, through Hoshana Rabbah. At Shacharis it is added after Shir shel Yom (the daily Psalm), before the Mourner's Kaddish, and at Minchah it is inserted immediately before Aleinu.]

During the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul the Shofar is sounded for practice; the regular sounding of the Shofar after the [morning] prayers begins from the second day of Rosh Chodesh [and continues on all weekdays until the day before erev Rosh HaShanah].

The order of these blasts of the Shofar during Elul is tekiah-shevarim-teruah-tekiah; tekiah-shevarim-tekiah; tekiah-teruah-tekiah.

When [the first day of] Rosh Chodesh Elul falls on Shabbos [Parshas Re'eh], the Haftorah read is the passage[405] beginning ko amar Hashem hashamayim kisi [i.e., Yeshayahu ch. 66, as for any Rosh Chodesh that falls on a Shabbos, and the regular Haftorah of Parshas Re'eh is thus displaced]. Then, on Shabbos Parshas Ki Seitzei, the regular Haftorah [rani akarah, i.e., Yeshayahu 54:1-10] is followed by the Haftorah [of Parshas Re'eh: i.e., Yeshayahu 54:11-55:5, which begins] ani soeirah.

When [the first day of] Rosh Chodesh Elul falls on Sunday [and Parshas Re'eh is thus read on erev Rosh Chodesh]:

  1. one reads [its regular Haftorah, viz.,] ani soeirah, and

  2. adds the first and last verse of the Haftorah of machar chodesh [i.e., I Shmuel 20:18 and 20:42].

In the course of each day from the second day of Rosh Chodesh Elul until [erev] Yom Kippur, one reads [in addition to the regular daily reading] three consecutive chapters of Tehillim,[406] as follows: On the first of Elul, chs. 1-3; on the second of Elul, chs. 4-6; and so on. On Yom Kippur one reads [4 x 9 =] 36 chapters, viz., chs. 115-123 before Kol Nidrei; chs. 124-132 before retiring to bed; chs. 133-141 after Mussaf; and chs. 142-150 after Neilah [before Maariv].[407]

(b) Selichos:

The Selichos of the first day is begun soon after midnight [on Motzaei Shabbos],[408] and on the other days at dawn.

For the order of Selichos, see subheading (e) The Order of the Selichos in the above section (p. 103) on the Month of Elul.

In the passage beginning E-l melech yosheiv, the wording is umisnaheig bachassidus.[409]

In the course of the Selichos of any particular day, the confession that begins with the words ashamnu bagadnu is said only once.[410]

At Selichos one does not rest one's forehead on the forearm (Nefilas Apayim).[411]

On the Shabbos before Rosh HaShanah, as on any other Shabbos before a Rosh Chodesh (i.e., Shabbos Mevarchim), the entire Book of Tehillim is recited before Shacharis.[412] This is followed by the Mourner's Kaddish. If one of those present is required to say Kaddish because he is observing a yahrzeit or is a mourner, he recites Kaddish at the conclusion of each of the Five Books of Tehillim.[413]

(c) Erev Rosh HaShanah:[414]

The annulment of vows (hataras nedarim) is performed on erev Rosh HaShanah [before midday], [preferably] in the presence of a quorum of ten.[415]

The annulment comprises four paragraphs, which begin as follows: shimu na rabosai, hakol yihyu mutorim lach, hari ani moseir modaah, kulam yihyu mutarim lach.[416] Seder Nezifah ("the formal reprimand") is not practiced.

On erev Rosh HaShanah every [chassid present] hands a pidyon nefesh [often abbreviated to pidyon or to pan], for himself and for his family, to the Rebbe Shlita, who thereupon offers each individual his blessing of Kesivah vachasimah tovah - that he be inscribed and sealed for a good year. (Those who are distant endeavor to send their pidyon nefesh in time to reach the Rebbe before Rosh HaShanah.)

Chassidim hand the Rebbe Shlita a pidyon nefesh for himself and his household, and for the entire House of Israel; this is known as the pidyon haklali ("the general pidyon nefesh"). When he receives it, it is the custom of the Rebbe Shlita to bless all our Jewish brethren wherever they may be with a Kesivah vachasimah tovah, and with the blessing of LeShanah tovah umesukah - "a good and sweet year."

Those who are near enough to do so are accustomed to visit the holy resting place of the Previous Rebbe, [and to read there the supplicatory prayers assembled in the booklet entitled Maaneh Lashon].[417]

"Every year, before Rosh HaShanah, it was the custom of my revered father [the Rebbe Rashab] to undertake a new hiddur, [embellishing the performance of a particular mitzvah with an added touch of finesse]."[418]

(d) Rosh HaShanah:

The blessings for candle-lighting on the eve of Rosh HaShanah conclude with the following words:

  1. lehadlik neir shel yom hazikaron;

  2. shehechiyanu v'kiyimanu, vehigiyanu lizman hazeh.[419]

"Throughout both days of Rosh HaShanah, from an hour before Minchah on the eve of Rosh HaShanah until Maariv at its conclusion, every one of you, the students [of the Tomchei Temimim Yeshivah] - and this of course also applies to everyone - should be diligent in the reading of Tehillim night and day, for during these two days one ought to vigilantly abstain from secular conversation to the utmost. One ought to sleep less than usual, intensify one's devotion in prayer and supplication from the depths of one's heart, and recite Tehillim at every available moment.

"Whilst I am speaking I would like to point out that people who do smoke throughout the year, including on the festivals, abstain from doing so on Rosh HaShanah. It would be proper for Torah scholars to adhere to this restriction and to influence their acquaintances likewise."[420]

Before Maariv one reads Tehillim.

The congregant who leads the service at Maariv and Minchah does not wear a tallis.[421]

The white gown known in Yiddish as a kittel is worn only on Yom Kippur.

Throughout the Ten Days of Penitence, the word le'eila is not repeated in Kaddish except at Neilah.

[After Shemoneh Esreh at Maariv on Rosh HaShanah,] Psalm 24 (beginning ledavid mizmor...ha'aretz umloah) is said before Kaddish Tiskabel; likewise [at Maariv] on the eve of Yom Kippur.

The verbs in the greeting of leshanah tovah ("May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year!") are always in the singular - tikaseiv veseichaseim.

When [the first night of] Rosh HaShanah falls on Friday evening, the following passages are read in an undertone: shalom aleichim, eishes chayil, mizmor ledavid Hashem ro'i, da hi se'udasa.

On the first night of Rosh HaShanah the apple is eaten at the beginning of the meal.[422] On the second night the new fruit should be eaten [immediately after Kiddush and] before the washing of hands for the meal.

The brief prayer beginning yehi ratzon is said after the blessing over the apple and before it is eaten.[423]

One eats pomegranate and a ram's head, but no yehi ratzon is said over these.

With regard to the blessing of borei pri haeitz which is said over the apple dipped in honey on the first night, there is a difference of opinion as to whether this blessing includes fruit eaten at the end of the meal as dessert. When reciting this first blessing, therefore, the Previous Rebbe would make a point of not intending to include the latter fruit, and would then recite a separate blessing over it.[424]

My revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, would instruct the baal toke'a to study - [before Shacharis] on both mornings of Rosh HaShanah - the maamar which begins lehavin inyan tekias shofar(and which appears in the Siddur im Dach, p. 488).[425]

When the Sefer Torah is taken out for the public reading, the passage that enumerates the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy (and that begins Hashem Hashem) is recited even when [the first day of] Rosh HaShanah falls on Shabbos. The same applies when Yom Kippur falls on Shabbos.[426]

[The person who, in order to avert confusion, shows the baal toke'a step by step which blasts of the Shofar are to be sounded is called the makri, lit., "the one who calls (the names of the various notes)." Nevertheless, according to our custom,] the makri does not utter a word, instead merely pointing one by one to the names of the notes as listed in the Siddur.[427]

The person who intones the verses which are read before the sounding of the Shofar also intones the three verses that are said thereafter. The congregation then begins ashrei yoshvei veisecha in unison.[428]

When it comes to prostrating oneself [during the repetition of the Shemoneh Esreh of Mussaf],[429] our halachic tradition does not require that a sheet or the like be spread on a wooden floor.

With regard to a floor of stone or of similar material, see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim, end of sec. 131.

After Mussaf and the daily reading of Tehillim, thirty notes of the Shofar are sounded.[430]

In the daytime Kiddush on both days of Rosh HaShanah, [the blessing over the wine is preceded by] the following two verses: tiku... and ki chok.... The following readings are not said: eileh moadei... and askinu....[431]

After Tashlich one shakes the hem of one's tallis katan.[432]

On the second day of Rosh HaShanah, the hymn that begins lE-l orech din is said at Mussaf.[433]

Before nightfall on the second day of Rosh HaShanah, it is the custom of the Rebbe Shlita to wash his hands for a meal, in the course of which he delivers a maamar. This is followed by the Grace After Meals, Maariv, Havdalah, and the distribution of wine to all those present from kos shel berachah, the cup over which the blessings of the Grace were recited. When Shabbos follows immediately after Rosh HaShanah, the wine is distributed instead after Kiddush the following day, in order to avoid delaying the congregants on the eve of Shabbos.[434]

When the second day of Rosh HaShanah falls on the eve of Shabbos (and this applies to every festival), and the meal (or farbrengen) which had begun during daytime extends into the night of Shabbos, a cloth is spread over the challos and Kiddush is recited. However, there is no need to say the blessing that concludes with the words borei pri hagafen if one had said it earlier in the meal.[435]

"My revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, once related the following: 'On the second day of Rosh HaShanah, my father (the Rebbe Rashab) would continue delivering his maamar until it was night. The reason: He wanted to draw down into the material and workaday world all [the influx of spiritual light] that had been brought down during the forty-eight hours of Rosh HaShanah - so that the light of Chassidus should illuminate the world in all its aspects, and be perceptible within it.'

"And I for my part would like to suggest that each and every individual should do likewise, fusing the hours of Rosh HaShanah with the following weekday hours[436] through the study of Chassidus. Then, by virtue of - and through - the path that our Rebbeim have paved for us,[437] the light of Chassidus will be drawn down for us, too, all the way down into the most material of our activities."[438]

When the conclusion of Rosh HaShanah falls on the eve of Shabbos, the evening service begins with mizmor ledavid instead of lechu neranenah. The same applies to any festival whose conclusion coincides with the inauguration of Shabbos [and likewise to any festival or Chol HaMoed that coincides with the eve of Shabbos].[439]

Appendix to (d) Rosh HaShanah:

Chaf-tes Elul is the birthday of [the third of the Rebbeim of Chabad], Rabbi Menachem Mendel, known as the Tzemach Tzedek. He was born on erev Rosh HaShanah, the twenty-ninth of Elul, in 5549 (1789).[440]

The Rebbe Shlita reads Tehillim extensively during both days (and nights) of Rosh HaShanah.

Throughout these days the Rebbe Shlita speaks exceedingly little (except, of course, for divrei Torah and the like).

The maamar which he delivers on the second day "extends into the night after Yom-Tov."[441]

(e) The Ten Days of Penitence:

During the Ten Days of Penitence (Aseres Yemei Teshuvah), Selichos are said only on the Fast of Gedaliah.[442]

On the eve of Shabbos Teshuvah [or: Shabbos Shuvah], which is the Shabbos before Yom Kippur, it is customary in the Rebbe's household to kindle [a twenty-four-hour candle which is known as] a "teshuvah light," and on the eve of Yom Kippur to kindle a "living light" in addition to the memorial light [known as a ner neshamah].[443]

The Haftorah reading for Shabbos Shuvah is Hoshea 14:2-10 (from shuva yisrael until yichshelu vam) followed by Yoel 7:18-20 (from mi E-l kamocha until mimei kedem).

(f) Erev Yom Kippur:

In [the expiation ceremony known as] kapparos,[444] one reads the passage from bnei adam until u'k'shalom three times, each time turning the chicken around [- and higher than - one's head] three times, [as one says zeh chalifasi, zeh temurasi, zeh kaparasi] for a total of nine rotations.

On the [morning of the] eve of Yom Kippur each person asks another for a piece of lekach [Yiddish for 'cake', traditionally honey cake], and eats it.

On erev Yom Kippur it is the custom of the Rebbe Shlita to hand a slice of lekach to each of the people [who file past the door of his study], and to bless each individual with the words, leshanah tova u'mesukah ("a good and sweet year"). At this time the Rebbe Shlita wears his Shabbos silk coat and a gartl.[445]

[The nominal flogging called malkos[446] precedes both immersion in the mikveh and Minchah.] Accompanying the thirty-nine stripes of malkos on erev Yom Kippur, the verse[447] beginning v'hu rachum is said three times by both the one administering the lashes and the one receiving them.

It is customary on erev Yom Kippur to eat krepchen [or: kreplach; Yiddish name for a kind of cooked pastry pocket filled with ground chicken].[448]

After Minchah on the eve of Yom Kippur the Rebbe Shlita blesses all the Jewish people wherever they are with the blessing of chasimah ugmar chasimah tovah ("May your inscription for a good year be sealed and affirmed"), and with a blessing that Jews around the world be aroused in true penitence.445

After the seudah mafsekes, the last meal before the fast, one blesses one's sons and daughters.

Before Kol Nidrei the Rebbe Shlita gives his blessing to the current students of the Tomchei Temimim Yeshivah in the words of Bamidbar 6:22-27: vayedabeir... yivorechecha... avoracheim.445

(g) Yom Kippur:

A bridegroom who wore a kittel at his wedding does not wear one on the first Yom Kippur thereafter.[449]

Before Kol Nidrei one reads nine chapters of Tehillim (chs. 115-123).[450]

On the additional readings of [four brackets of nine chapters of] Tehillim, see the final paragraph of the above section[451] headed (a) Elul.

The evening service of Yom Kippur begins with Tehillim ch. 97: Hashem molach tageil.... Verse 11 (beginning or zarua) is said once, aloud.[452]

The statement beginning al daas hamakom is said three times, in an undertone.[452]

When Yom Kippur coincides with Shabbos, the Prayer for Welcoming the Shabbos (Kabbalas Shabbos) opens with Tehillim ch. 29 [453] (which begins mizmor ledavid), as on any Yom-Tov that coincides with Shabbos.

Kerias Shema, the prayer before retiring at night, follows the same order as on Shabbos and Yom-Tov.[454]

Before retiring at night one reads nine chapters of Tehillim (chs. 124-132).[455]

At netilas yadayim in the morning, one pours water only over the fingers.[456]

The passage[457] beginning avinu malkeinu zechor rachamecha is said at each of the [four] daytime prayer services of Yom Kippur, and not only at Mussaf.

During the first year of bereavement mourners do not leave the shul while the congregation says Yizkor, [the Prayer for the Souls of the Departed,][458] though they should not say it. (This applies likewise to other occasions when Yizkor is said.)

The daily reading of Tehillim[459] follows Mussaf.

This reading is followed by the nine additional chapters, chs. 133-141.[460]

Between Mussaf and Minchah there should be an interval of at least three-quarters of an hour, if possible.

At Minchah, the Haftorah[461] [which begins with the Book of Yonah] concludes with Yoel 7:18-20 (from mi E-l kamocha until mimei kedem). Minchah closes with Tehillim ch. 27 (which begins ledavid Hashem ori).[462]

At Neilah, the Ark is opened at ashrei[463] and remains open until the conclusion of Neilah. In the Kaddish[464] one says le'eilah ul'eilah mikol birchasa.

The sentence beginning hayom yifneh[465] is said even after dark.

The Priestly Blessing is not said at Neilah even before sunset.

Before the chazzan intones the sentence beginning tiskabeil in the closing Kaddish of Neilah,[466] the entire congregation sings the [triumphant marching song known as Napoleon's] March.[467] This is followed by a blast of the Shofar.

Neilah closes with [the bracket of passages which include] ein kelokeinu,[466] followed by [the two paragraphs which begin with] aleinu.

After Neilah [the final] nine chapters of Tehillim are read (chs. 142-150).[468]

One says Maariv and Havdalah while still wearing the kittel and tallis, but also with a hat (and not only a yarmulka), and with the tallis draped over the shoulders.[469]

Before Havdalah one pours water over each hand three times alternately, as at netilas yadayim in the morning, but without reciting the blessing.

After Havdalah one reads Kiddush Levanah from a Siddur [or Machzor], while wearing a gartl.[470]

The blessing that concludes she'asah li kol tzarki is not recited until the next morning.[471]

The greeting used at night, after the conclusion of Yom Kippur, is Gut Yom-Tov ("A happy festival to you!").

That same night one does something about - or at least talks about - building a sukkah.

The day after Yom Kippur is called besheim Hashem ("G-d's Name").[472]



  1. (Back to text) Most of these customs were compiled by the Rebbe Shlita and have been published several times, most recently as an Appendix to Machzor HaShalem. [The page references to the Machzor in the English text of the present work relate to the bilingual edition of Machzor HaShalem, which reproduces the Hebrew text as published by Kehot in 5715 (1955) and which has been reprinted many times since, and is entitled, Machzor for Rosh HaShanah with English Translation (trans. Rabbi Nissen Mangel; Kehot, N.Y., 1983). It has a sister volume for Yom Kippur. The Hebrew original of the above listing of Distinctive Customs appears in the Machzor for Rosh HaShanah, p. 226, and in the Machzor for Yom Kippur, p. 308.]

    [For further customs see also:

    1. the above section (p. 100) on The Month of Elul;

    2. the Appendix (p. 122) to the present listing of Rosh HaShanah customs; and

    3. the Liturgical Supplement for the Days of Awe (p. 127, below).]

  2. (Back to text) [In addition, since the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul is also the eve of Rosh Chodesh, the reading of this passage is followed by the first and last verse of the Haftorah of machar chodesh (lit., "Tomorrow is the New Moon"); i.e., I Shmuel 20:18 and 20:42.]

  3. (Back to text) The following memoir of the Rebbe Rashab was recorded by his son, the Rebbe Rayatz. The Hebrew original appears in Kovetz Michtavim, the letters appended to Tehillim Ohel Yosef Yitzchak, p. 210.

    "It happened in 5629 (1869), when I was nine years old. (The new building was completed that summer, after the fire in Lubavitch the previous summer.) On Motzaei Shabbos, at the close of the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul, my father (the Rebbe Maharash) called for me and said: 'When I was nine years old, in Elul of 5603 (1843), when my father (the Tzemach Tzedek) had returned from Petersburg [see the English translation of Likkutei Dibburim, Vol. III, ch. 23, sec. 58], he called for me and said:

    Before I set out for Petersburg I instructed your brothers and yourself to read certain chapters of Tehillim every day, specifically as a request that G-d show me compassion and make my mission prosper - for the sake of the glory of His Name, for the sake of both the revealed and the mystical dimensions of the Torah, and for the benefit of the entire House of Israel. The document dispatched by the Minister to the provincial governor had stated that the Rabbinical Conference would last a week, and no more than ten days. Eventually it lasted for eight weeks.

    When I was nine years old, on Sunday, the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul, 5558 (1798), my grandfather (the Alter Rebbe) called for me and said: "I received the following tradition from my master, the Maggid of Mezritch, who in turn received it from his master, the Baal Shem Tov, on the authority of his renowned master* - that in the course of every day from the second day of Rosh Chodesh Elul through Yom Kippur, one should read three consecutive chapters of Tehillim, and on Yom Kippur one should read 36 chapters, as follows: nine before Kol Nidrei, nine before retiring to bed, nine after Mussaf, and nine after Neilah. A person who did not begin on the second day of Rosh Chodesh should begin with the chapters appropriate to the day concerned, and make up the omitted chapters, though at the rate of no more than three chapters daily."'"


    * Evidently a reference to Achiyah HaShiloni. See the sichah of Shabbos Parshas Kedoshim and Shabbos Parshas Pinchas, 5700 (1940), in Sefer HaSichos, Summer 5700. (Note by the Rebbe Shlita.)

  4. (Back to text) [See also the English translation of Likkutei Dibburim, Vol. 1, ch. 2b, sec. 1, and ch. 4a, sec. 3.]

  5. (Back to text) This is apparently so because one of the hymns begins with the words b'motzoei menuchah - "At the termination of [the Day of] Rest," and Selichos and the Thirteen Attributes are not recited before midnight (Magen Avraham 525:5).

  6. (Back to text) See Pri Etz Chayim, Shaar HaSelichos, ch. 88; Siddur HaAriZal; and the same wording appears in Zohar III, 228a, and Tikkunei Zohar Chadash 111:3.

  7. (Back to text) This practice follows the ruling of the AriZal (Pri Etz Chayim, Shaar HaSelichos, ch. 88), as opposed to the custom of reading it three times (as cited in the Rokeiach and the Levush, sec. 581; see also Eshel Avraham by the Rebbe of Butchatch). This is also the ruling in Darchei Chayim VeShalom, ch. 703.

    One can deduce from this that whenever - such as on a public fast - Selichos is incorporated in Shacharis [i.e., after Shemoneh Esreh], Vidui (the alphabetical confession) is omitted at Selichos, since it has already been recited in the course of the morning prayers.

  8. (Back to text) See Magen Avraham, Shulchan Aruch 131:9, and the Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch, loc. cit.

  9. (Back to text) The following memoir of the Rebbe Rashab concerning the Shabbos before Rosh HaShanah was recorded by his son, the Rebbe Rayatz.

    "When I was child I asked my father (the Rebbe Maharash): 'Why do we not bless the month of Tishrei just as we bless the upcoming Rosh Chodesh of all the other months of the year?' [See Siddur Tehillat HaShem, p. 191.]

    "My father (the Rebbe Maharash) replied: 'When I was a child I asked the same question of my father (the Tzemach Tzedek), who told me that when he was a child he had asked the very same question of his grandfather, the Alter Rebbe, who had answered:

    When I was in Mezritch I heard the following teaching from my master, the Maggid, who had received it from his master, the Baal Shem Tov: The seventh month [i.e., Tishrei], which is the first of the months of the year,1 is blessed by G-d Himself on Shabbos Mevarchim, which is the last Shabbos of the month of Elul. And by virtue of this blessing Jews are empowered to bless the various months eleven times a year.

    [This is the content of G-d's blessing:] atem Nitzavim hayom ("You are standing this day."2). The word hayom ("this day") refers to Rosh HaShanah,3 which is the Day of Judgment. (Similarly, the phrase vayehi hayom ("And it came to pass on this day"4) is paraphrased in the Aramaic Targum, "And it came to pass on the great Day of Judgment.")

    The phrase atem nitzavim implies [not only that you (the Jewish people) are standing, but, moreover,] that on this day "you are sustained in your firm stance";5 i.e., you are acquitted in your trial. On the Shabbos before Rosh HaShanah, then, which is the last Shabbos of the month of Elul, we read the passage in the Torah which begins atem nitzavim - for this is G-d's blessing on the Shabbos Mevarchim of the "seventh month,", which is both mushba and mashbia:6 in itself it is spiritually "sated", and in turn it bestows a satiety of blessings upon the entire House of Israel throughout the forthcoming year.'"


    1. This paraphrases Shmos 12:2, but the meaning is of course altered [from the original reference to Nissan] by shifting the emphasis [from "months"] to "year". There are other cases too where a single phrase is understood in various ways. For example, see Tosafos (s.v. adam) in Chullin 68a, (though a comparison with the Tosafos (s.v. alima) in Kiddushin 48a is somewhat problematic). See also the sources referred to in Yad Malachi, Klal 374, and see Sdei Chemed, Klalim 30:98.

    2. [Devarim 29:9.]

    3. See Likkutei Torah, beginning of Parshas Nitzavim.

    4. [Iyov 1:6.]

    5. See Midrash Tanchuma, beginning of Parshas Nitzavim.

    6. See Vayikra Rabbah 29:8, and Kitzurim VeHearos LeSefer Likkutei Amarim [of the Tzemach Tzedek], p. 58.

  10. (Back to text) [See footnote 236, above.]

  11. (Back to text) [See also:

    1. the Appendix (p. 122) to the present listing of Rosh HaShanah customs, and

    2. the Liturgical Supplement for the Days of Awe (p. 127, below).]

  12. (Back to text) See Likkutei Sichos, Vol. IV, p. 1332.

  13. (Back to text) [Siddur, p. 269.]

  14. (Back to text) The above three paragraphs, which record the practice of Chabad chassidim, were added by the collators of [the Hebrew original of] this work.

  15. (Back to text) From a sichah of the Previous Rebbe. See also Likkutei Sichos, Vol. II, p. 386.

  16. (Back to text) [See Machzor for Rosh HaShanah, p. 8.]

  17. (Back to text) These two paragraphs, interpolated here by the compilers of [the Hebrew original of] this work, are excerpts from a letter of the Previous Rebbe that appears in Kovetz Michtavim, the letters appended to Tehillim Ohel Yosef Yitzchak, p. 205.

  18. (Back to text) [HaYom Yom, p. 4.]

  19. (Back to text) [I.e., after eating of the challah over which hamotzi was recited.] The custom of eating a sweet apple dipped in honey on the first night of Rosh HaShanah is explained according to Chassidus in Pelach HaRimon, Parshas Vayeira (61:4), citing the Tzemach Tzedek.

  20. (Back to text) From a letter of the Rebbe Shlita - published in Kovetz Lubavitch, Booklet 13, p. 99, incorporated in the Notes and Sources appended to the Siddur im Dach, p. shin ayin, and reproduced [on p. 203,] below. [Note by the collators of the Hebrew original of this work.]

  21. (Back to text) The above paragraph, written by the compilers of [the Hebrew original of] this work, is based on Sefer HaSichos 5702, p.4.

  22. (Back to text) It appears that the reason is simply that this maamar explains the kavanos of the tekios, the mystical intentions underlying the sounding of the Shofar. It goes without saying that the obligation to study this maamar supplements the obligation to master the Laws of the Sounding of the Shofar as set out in the works of the poskim.

  23. (Back to text) [Machzor for Rosh HaShanah, p. 117.]

  24. (Back to text) [Machzor for Rosh HaShanah, p. 128.]

  25. (Back to text) [Ibid., pp. 127-8.]

  26. (Back to text) [Ibid., p. 149.]

  27. (Back to text) [Ibid., p. 180.]

  28. (Back to text) [Ibid., p. 181-2.] When Rosh HaShanah falls on Shabbos, the following passages that precede tiku [in the daytime Kiddush] are said in an undertone: mizmor leDavid, askinu, veshamru, im tashiv, da, zachor, al kein. This may be inferred from the above statement concerning the evening Kiddush on such a date.

  29. (Back to text) Pri Etz Chayim, Shaar HaShofar, ch. 5, writes: "The edge of one's clothes should be shaken when one says vesashlich bemtzulos yam...." The Siddur HaAriZal edited by R. Shabsai states that "this refers specifically to the tallis katan, because it is 'the garment of the Shechinah.'" The Siddur Shaar HaShamayim by the Shelah specifies likewise, and this in fact is our custom - except that we shake the tallis katan after the completion of Tashlich, as is implied by the Shelah. (From the Glosses of the Rebbe Rashab on the Siddur.)

  30. (Back to text) [Machzor for Rosh HaShanah, pp. 105, 142.]

  31. (Back to text) The above paragraph was interpolated by the collators of [the Hebrew original of] this work.

    When speaking at this meal, it is the custom of the Rebbe Shlita to cite a teaching of each of the preceding Rebbeim. (See Sefer HaSichos 5702, p. 2; Sefer HaMaamarim 5711, p. 4, note 4.)

  32. (Back to text) According to the Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch 271:10-11.

  33. (Back to text) Cf. the Yerushalmi, Yoma 1:1 and 2:1. (From a letter of the Rebbe Shlita.)

  34. (Back to text) [The first half of the above sentence translates a deliberately ambiguous Hebrew phrase, viz.: ubishvil asher sollu lanu nesieinu. Hence:] Note the two meanings of the key word, bishvil [either "for" or "in the path"]. The beginning of Keser Shem Tov, Part II, cites the Baal Shem Tov's interpretation of the teaching of the Sages, kol haolam nizon bishvil Chanina beni - "The whole world is nourished for the sake of (or: through the conduit of) My son, Chanina." (From a letter of the Rebbe Shlita.)

  35. (Back to text) From a letter of the Rebbe Shlita.

  36. (Back to text) [Siddur, pp. 128, 131.]

  37. (Back to text) The first maamar that the Alter Rebbe delivered after the birth of [his grandson] the Tzemach Tzedek opened with the phrase mashbiin oso tehi tzaddik; it comprises the content of [what was later to be] the beginning of his Tanya. (See Sefer HaSichos 5703, p. 154.) The particular relevance of this maamar to the Tzemach Tzedek was explained by the Rebbe Shlita at the farbrengen of Yud-Gimmel Nissan 5726, which was the hundredth anniversary of the passing of the Tzemach Tzedek.

  38. (Back to text) [See the second-last paragraph under subheading (d) Rosh HaShanah, p. 121, above.]

  39. (Back to text) For the order of Selichos on this day, see p. 109, above.

  40. (Back to text) Regarding this, see the sichah published at the end of Kuntreis 96 [which is appended to Sefer HaMaamarim 5709, p. 36].

  41. (Back to text) [Machzor for Yom Kippur, p. 1.]

  42. (Back to text) This passage was inserted by the compilers of [the Hebrew original of] this work.

  43. (Back to text) [Machzor for Yom Kippur, p. 1.]

  44. (Back to text) [Tehillim 78:38; Machzor for Yom Kippur, p. 276. This verse comprises thirteen words; 3 x 13 = 39.]

  45. (Back to text) I have found this custom explained, evidently by the Alter Rebbe, in the terms of Chassidus. The explanation is appended to the Siddur Me'ah She'arim. [At this point there appears an involved Kabbalistic discussion (meaningful only in the Hebrew original) of the respective spiritual sources of the various physical components of this traditional dish.] See also Geulas Yisrael, Zera Kodesh and Taamei HaMinhagim, where this custom is explained in other terms.

  46. (Back to text) ["...since he has already worn it on his own Yom Kippur this year, namely, his wedding day." (Igrois Koidesh of the Rebbe Shlita, Vol. V, p. 87).]

  47. (Back to text) [Machzor for Yom Kippur, p. 19-22.]

  48. (Back to text) [P. 113.]

  49. (Back to text) [Machzor for Yom Kippur, p. 23.]

  50. (Back to text) [I.e., instead of the usual ch. 95, which begins lechu neranena. See Machzor for Yom Kippur, p. 24.]

  51. (Back to text) [See above section (p. 58) on Shema before Retiring on Friday Night.]

  52. (Back to text) [Machzor for Yom Kippur, pp. 64-65.]

  53. (Back to text) [See footnote 363, above.]

  54. (Back to text) [Machzor for Yom Kippur, p. 138.]

  55. (Back to text) [Ibid., p. 154.]

  56. (Back to text) [Ibid., p. 206.]

  57. (Back to text) [Ibid., p. 207.]

  58. (Back to text) [Ibid., p. 216-8.]

  59. (Back to text) [Ibid., p. 246.]

  60. (Back to text) [Ibid., p. 247.]

  61. (Back to text) [Ibid., p. 249.]

  62. (Back to text) [Ibid., p. 259.]

  63. (Back to text) [Ibid., p. 270.]

  64. (Back to text) [Sefer HaNiggunim (Nichoach, N.Y., 1948), Vol. I, p. 142 (Notation No. 170).]

  65. (Back to text) [Machzor for Yom Kippur, p. 274.]

  66. (Back to text) This practice may be understood in the light of the following statement in Shaar HaKavanos (Shaar 6, Tefillas Minchah, Derush 1): "If [the AriZal] saw that the sun had set, he would lower [the upper edge of] his tallis [from his head] to his shoulders, since night is not the time for the mitzvah of tzitzis, and once it rested on his shoulders he need not be concerned that night had fallen." See also Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim, sec. 18.

  67. (Back to text) [Machzor for Yom Kippur, p. 286-7.]

  68. (Back to text) [Siddur, p. 8.]

  69. (Back to text) As is known, the day after Yom Kippur is called "G-d's Name." In a manuscript book I found an explanation attributed to the Baal Shem Tov, which is published in Ginzei Nistaros (Jerusalem, 5684/1924), Part I, sec. 109. [At this point in the text the complex Kabbalistic explanation, meaningful only in the Hebrew original, is reproduced in full.]

  The Month of ElulLiturgical Supplement for the Days of Awe  
     Sichos In English -> Books -> Halachah & Customs -> Sefer HaMinhagim

  • Daily Lessons
  • Weekly Texts & Audio
  • Candle-Lighting times

    613 Commandments
  • 248 Positive
  • 365 Negative

  • BlackBerry
  • iPhone / iPod Touch
  • Java Phones
  • Palm Pilot
  • Palm Pre
  • Pocket PC
  • P800/P900
  • Moshiach
  • Resurrection
  • For children - part 1
  • For children - part 2

  • Jewish Women
  • Holiday guides
  • About Holidays
  • The Hebrew Alphabet
  • Hebrew/English Calendar
  • Glossary

  • by SIE
  • About
  • Chabad
  • The Baal Shem Tov
  • The Alter Rebbe
  • The Rebbe Maharash
  • The Previous Rebbe
  • The Rebbe
  • Mitzvah Campaign

    Children's Corner
  • Rabbi Riddle
  • Rebbetzin Riddle
  • Tzivos Hashem

  • © Copyright 1988-2009
    All Rights Reserved
    Sichos In English