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How to make your ‘Soul Bigger’ for the High Holidays

We have less than a week to prepare ourselves for Rosh Hashana which begins Wednesday night, September 8th. One of the most moving parts of the Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services is the prayer U’netah’ne Tokef which talks about accomplishing the goals of the High Holidays. The author of the prayer, Rabbi Amnon of Mainz, says you reach these goals through 3 elements: Teshuva (Repentance), Tefilah (Prayer) and Tzedaka (Charity). The National Jewish Outreach Program, Jewish Treats’ parent organization, makes the 3 T’s easy to remember by producing Soul Bigger (a parody to Kanye West’s song) which you can view here: http://bit.ly/SoulBigger. Watch as the actors accomplish the 3 T’s: Teshuva (Repentance), Tefilah (Prayer) and Tzedaka (Charity). What are you planning to do to make your own ‘Soul Bigger’ for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur?

Learn more about the 3 T’s of the High Holidays, Teshuva (Repentance), Tefilah (Prayer) and Tzedaka (Charity), with this post taken from our http://JewishTreats.org blog:

The 3 Ts

On Rosh Hashanah we declare: “But repentance, prayer and charity remove the evil of the decree!” In Hebrew, these constitute the 3 Ts: Teshuva, Tefilah and Tzedaka.

Teshuva (repentance) a central theme of the High Holidays, means more than just saying “sorry.” Teshuva, means recognizing one’s errors and making an effort not to repeat them. In many ways, teshuva is a private act because one must be introspective to recognize one’s own mistakes.

Tefilah (prayer) is the acknowledgment of God as the King and Ruler of the universe. Tefilah is almost private, but not quite. It is a conversation between the person and God.

Tzedaka (charity) is a critical step necessary to reverse an evil decree simply because it constitutes an action. The performance of this mitzvah affects the person giving, the person receiving, and its benefits often extend to others as well. Tzedaka is reaching out beyond one’s self, and is thus a public act.

Everything that a person does affects the world in multiple ways. It affects the person’s relationship with him/herself, their relationship with the Divine and their relationship with their fellow human beings. The path to reversing the evil of the decree must therefore involve the private, the spiritual and the public spheres of our lives.