The Baal Shem Tov, or Besht —  the founder of Chasidism — 
met the soul of the Messiah during an ascent to heaven. 
The Besht asked him, "When will the Master come?" 
The Messiah answered, "When your wellsprings break forth to the outside!" 
(from a letter written by the Besht to his brother-in-law about one of his soul ascents) 


 
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Rosh Hashanah Seder -- traditions and additions

Download pdf of a full Rosh Hashanah seder with additions related to climate change and Shmitah year. Here are the elements of the seder, including two additions related to Shmitah and one for refugees. Note that each "siman" or sign introduces a hope we have for the year, and is based either on a physical feature (the sweetness of honey or the many seeds in a pomegranate), or on a pun (for example, "remove/leave" is the root S-L-K, and beets are "Salka" or "Selek"). The pdf includes all the following in liturgical order. It is great to make up your own puns, in English or Hebrew or any language, using whatever fruits and vegetables or other ingredients you have on hand.

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First, here is one addition for the Shmitah year:

In the year of Shmitah, the sabbatical year, our ancestors would let the land rest from their plows, receiving and eating whatever grew and ripened by itself from the land. And fig trees were especially prized in Shmita, because new figs would become ripe each month, always providing food.

And some say that the fig was the fruit of the tree of knowledge, and that Shmitah is our time to receive the knowledge from Eden in the right way and the right time, when all is ripened for understanding. Therefore...

תְּאֵנִיםִ
Figs (T'einim)    

May it be Your will
YHVH our God and God of our ancestors,
as the Earth lifts her face toward us and all her creatures
to nourish all equally,
and as she ripens new fruit month by month, free to all
that we may receive in gratitude what is offered
during this year of Shmita,
so that we may also turn our faces,
ripe with justice and love
toward this world and all creatures.

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶיךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְאֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְאִמוֹתֵנוּ
שֶׁכְּשֵׁם שֶׁתִּשָׂא הָאָרֶץ פָּנֶיהָ אֵלֵינוּ וְאֶל כָּל בְּרִיוֹתֶיהָ
לְהוֹצִיא מָזוֹן לָכֹּל בְּשִׁווֹן
וְתַּבְשִׁיל פֵרוֹת חֲדָשִׁים
חוֹדֶשׁ אַחַר חוֹדֶשׁ הֶפְקֵר לְכּוּלָם
כֵּן נְקַבֵּל בְּהוֹדָאָה כֹּל מָה שֶׁנָדְבָה בִּשְׁנת הַשְׁמִיטָה הַזֹאת
ּלְכֵן נִפְנֶה בְּשֵׁלִים בְּצֶדֶק וּבְאַהֲבָה אֶל הָאָרֶץ וְאֶל כָּל הַבְּרִיוֹת

Y’hi ratson milfanekha YHVH Eloheinu v’Elohei avoteinu v’imoteinu, shek’shem shetisa ha’arets paneha eleinu v’el kol b’riyoteha l’hotsi mazon lakol b’shivyon, v’tavshil peirot chadashot chodesh achar chodesh hefker l’kulam, ken n’kabeil b’hoda’ah kol mah shenadvah bishnat hashmitah hazot ul’khen nifneh b’sheilim b’tsedek uv’ahavah el ha’arets v’el kol hab’riyot

Second, here is an addition for the climate crisis that is also appropriate for Shmitah:
תֶּרֶד
Spinach (Tered)

May it be Your will, YHVH our God and God of our ancestors,
that we awaken from our deep slumber (tardeimah),
to listen to the Earth,
and the species in danger of extinction,
and may this give us strength to take action and to fix our future!

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶיךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְאֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְאִמוֹתֵנוּ
שֶׁנִּתְעוֹרֵר מִן הַתָּרְדֵמָה שֶׁלָנוּ
לְהַַקְשִׁיב אֶל הָאָרֶץ
וּלְכָל הַבְּרִיוֹת בְּסַכָּנָת הַכְחָדָה
לְגָרוֹת בָּנוּ כֹּחַ לַעֲשׂוֹת
וּלְתַקֵן גוֹרָלֵינוּ

Y’hi ratson mil’fanekha shenit’orer min hatardeimah shelanu l’hakshiv el ha’anakah v’hash’varim v’hatza’ar ha’olim min ha’arets, umikol minei hab’riyot b’sakanat hakh’chadah, v'el kol hap’litim, v’gam l’hargish k’eiv l'vaveinu mip’rishuteinu min ha’adamah l'garot banu koach hama'aseh, ul'takein goraleinu.

Third, an addition for refugees:
שְׁזִיב
Plum (Sh’ziv)

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶיךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְאֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְאִמוֹתֵנוּ
לַתֵת לָנוּ כֹּחֵ לְהָכִין שֵׁיזָבָא בַּעָד פְּלִיטֵי אַקְלִים וְרָעָב וּמִלְחָמָה

May it be Your will, our God and God of our ancestors,
to give us strength to prepare safe harbor (em>sheizava)
for climate refugees and refugees from famine and war

Traditional:
תַּפּוּחַ וּדְבַשׁ
Apple and Honey (Tapuach ud'vash)

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶיךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְאֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְאִמוֹתֵנוּ
שֶׁתִּתְחַדֵּשׁ עָלֵינוּ שָׁנָה טוֹבָה וּמְתוּקָה׃
(כי היא הנקרא שבת ביסוד) מֵרֵאשֻׁית הַשָּׁנָה וְעַד אַחֲרִית הַשָּׁנָה׃

May it be your will, our God and God of our ancestors,
to renew for us a year sweet as honey,
from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.

קְרָא
Squash such as Pumpkin, Zucchini (Kara or K'ra)

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶיךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְאֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְאִמוֹתֵנוּ
שֶׁתִּקְרַע רוֹעַ גְּזַר דִּינֵנוּ וְיִקָּרְאוּ לְפָנֶיךָ זָכִיּוֹתֵינוּ׃

May it be your will, our God and God of our ancestors,
to tear up (tikra`) the evil decrees against us and proclaim (yikr'u) our merits.

רוּבִיָא
Beans, Black-eyed peas (Rubiya)

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶיךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְאֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְאִמוֹתֵנוּ
שֶׁיִרְבּוּ זָכִיּוֹתֵינוּ וּתְלַבְּבֵנוּ׃

May it be your will,
our God and God of our ancestors,
that our righteousness will multiply (yirbu) and that you will love us.

סַלְקָא
Beets (Salka)- this one is both traditional and Renewal and references the pandemic

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶיךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְאֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְאִמוֹתֵנוּ
שֶׁיִּסְתַּלְּקוּ כָּל נֶגַע וּמַגֵּפָה מִגּוּפֵינוּ
וְאֵיבָה וְשִׂנְאָה מֵעָלֵינוּ וּמִלְּבָבֵינוּ
וְכָל מְבַקְשֵׁי רָעָתֵנוּ מִסְּבִיבֵנוּ

May it be your will,
our God and God of our ancestors,
that plague and epidemic be removed (yistalku) from our bodies,
that enmity and hatred be not directed toward us and also removed (yistalku) from our hearts
along with all around us who seek our harm.

רִמוֹן
Pomegranate (Rimon)

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶיךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְאֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְאִמוֹתֵנוּ
שֶׁנִּהְיֶה מְלֵאִים מִצְוֺת כְּרִמּוֹן

May it be your will,
our God and God of our ancestors,
that we be full of mitsvot (commandments/righteous deeds) like a pomegranate.

Two more suggestions for candlelighting:
For the Shmitah year you can also add to the blessing:
“…l’hadlik ner shel yom tov bish’nat hak’dushah shel sh’mitah” בִּשְׁנת הַקְּדוּשָׁה שֶׁל שְׁמִיטָה
“…to light the lamp of the holy day in this Shmitah year of holiness.”

For Shehechiyanu you can add:
“…laz’man hazeh ul’shanah hazot” וּלְשָׁנָה הַזֹּאת
“…who let us reach this season and this year.”
The rest of Neohasid’s High Holiday content can be accessed here.
More Shmitah resources can be found here.

Shnat shmitah m’tukah um’takenet,

Rabbi David Seidenberg

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