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Pararshat Vayigash, Genesis 44:18 – 47:27
10 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PREPARE FOR ROSH HASHANAH
- Take a spiritual accounting. Each day take at least 5 minutes to review your last year — a) your behavior with family, friends, associates, and people you’ve interacted with b) your level of mitzvah
- Attend a class or classes at a synagogue, Aish center, or a yeshiva on how to prepare. Read articles on com and listen to world-class speakers on aishaudio.com, or at Rabbizweig.com.
- Study the Machzor (Rosh Hashanah prayer book) to know the order of the service and the meaning of the words and prayers. You can buy a copy of The Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur Survival Kit, by Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf (possibly available at your local Jewish bookstore or at com).
- Make sure that you have given enough tzedakah (charity) and have paid your pledges (one is supposed to give 10% of his net income). It says in the Machzor that three things break an evil decree – Teshuva (repentance), Tefilla (prayer) and Tzedakah (charity). Why not maximize your chance for a good decree?
- Think of (at least) one person you have wronged or feel badly towards — and correct the situation.
- Make a list of your goals for yourself and your family – what you want to work towards and pray for.
- Limit your pleasures — the amount of television, movies, music, food — do something different so that you take this preparation time seriously.
- Do an extra act of kindness — who needs your help? To whom can you make a difference?
- Read a book on character development — anything written by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin would be great!
- Ask a friend to tell you what you need to improve. A real friend will tell you … but in a nice way!