Please Donate to Custom & Craft
Download your Service. We offer both printer-friendly and interactive version for your convenience.
We rely on support from users just like you! Please donate
today to keep maintaining this free resource!
Customandcraft.org is a fiscally sponsored project of Jewish Jumpstart (EIN: 26-2173175) which is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt California public benefit corporation. Your gift is tax deductible to the
extent allowed by law.
Share this Clip with your friends, family,
community and social networks with just one click.
Copy and paste the URL of this Clip to share or view.
Open in new window
Share This Clip on Social Networks
Unetaneh Tokef is a medieval prayer, of unknown authorship, recited in the Musaf Service of both Rosh Ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur. Unetaneh Tokef affirms our own mortality, asking, “Who shall live and who shall die?” In it, we state that through teshuvah (repentance), tefilah (prayer), and tzedakah (acts of justice) we can transform our destiny and give meaning to our lives.
We shall ascribe holiness to this day, for it is awesome and terrifying. Your kingship is exalted upon it. Your throne is established in mercy. You are enthroned upon it in truth. You are the judge, the exhorter, the all-knowing, the witness. You are the One who inscribes and seals, remembering all that is forgotten. You open the book of remembrance, which speaks for itself, and the signature of each person is found there.
The great shofar is sounded. A still small voice is heard. The angels are dismayed, they are seized by fear and trembling as they proclaim: Behold the Day of Judgment! For all the hosts of heaven are brought for judgment, they shall not be innocent in Your eyes. All creatures shall parade before You as a troop. As a shepherd herds his flock, causing his sheep to pass beneath his staff, so do You count and record all the souls of the living, decreeing the length of their days, inscribing their judgment.
On Rosh Ha-Shanah it is inscribed, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed:
How many shall pass away and how many shall be born? Who shall live and who shall die? Who shall reach the end of his days and who shall not? Who shall perish by water and who by re? Who by sword and who by wild beast? Who by famine and who by thirst? Who by earthquake and who by plague? Who by strangulation and who by stoning? Who shall have rest and who shall wander? Who shall be at peace and who shall be pursued? Who shall be at rest and who shall be tormented? Who shall be exalted and who shall be brought low? Who shall become rich and who shall be impoverished?
But repentance (teshuvah), prayer (te lah), and righteousness (tzedaka) transform the severe decree.
You are our Creator and You understand our inclination, for we are but flesh and blood. The origin of man is dust, his end is dust. He earns his bread by exertion and is like a broken shard, like dry grass, like a withered flower, like a passing shadow and a vanishing cloud, like a breeze that blows away and dust that scatters, like a dream that fades. But You are Soverign, God who lives for all eternity!
Challah is special bread for Shabbat. In the poor homes of Eastern Europe, the daily fare was rough black bread. But on Shabbos the bread was a special loaf of white flour and eggs, decorated with poppy or sesame seeds. In some homes the challah is torn apart (to avoid using a knife which can be a weapon) and pieces are handed or tossed around to each guest. For others, the challah is sliced and passed on a special...
The World of Yetzirah (Formation) - Fruits with pits at their center
[Add a few drops of red wine and fill the rest with white. Drink half or more.]
We now drink our second cup of wine. Just as each new stream begins with a trickle, each flower with a single bud, just a few drops of color transform the hue of our wine. Although we discard the pits of these fruits, they are the...
The World of Asiyah - Fruits and nuts with a hard outside and an edible inside
[Pour a glass of white wine, say the blessing, and drink half or more.]
Although seemingly inedible from the outside, each of the foods eaten at the level of Asiyah, when peeled or shelled, hold gifts that transcend their outward appearance. Like winter, where everything lays dormant and hidden, these...
The quintessential Rosh Hashanah treat is apples and honey. Take a sweet, crisp, apple and dip it in some honey. Before eating we say a mini-blessing, hoping that the year to come will be tova umetukah, good and sweet!
Pick up a slice of apple, dip it in honey, and say:
Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha'olam borei pri ha-eitz.
We praise You, Eternal God, Sovereign of the...
As the sun sets on Friday afternoon, we take some time out to feel gratitude and joy. Shabbat is about rest and rejuvenation, as well as appreciating all of the gifts—both sacred and mundane—that we enjoy each day. Take a few deep breaths. Close your eyes. Use this service to bring some joy, beauty, and peace into your weekend.
Expanding on the second question, Jewish tradition holds every living thing (and even inanimate objects) as containing a certain amount of wonder, as if there is a secret hiding inside of everything, yearning to be recognized, revealed and even protected. In our tradition, trees are to be respected. Just as there are human rights and animal rights, there are tree rights. For instance, you can't just wantonly chop down a...