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In preparation for the Days of Awe – the shofar is blown each morning and Psalm 27 read. Begin to think about who you need to forgive, and from whom you need to ask forgiveness. Join Rabbi Stone and the rest of Portland’s Jewish community at the Selikhot Teach-In and Tefilah this weekend.
A Note on Language from Rabbi Stone
The most generic greeting for the new year is goot yontiff, the Yiddish which means “good holiday”, or shanah tovah,Hebrew for “a good year”. The formal greeting for the New Year is based upon the traditional image of our fate being decided during the Ten Days of Awe – the most righteous are written in the book of life right away on Rosh haShanah, and for the rest of us, our fate is decided sometime during those days. So starting in Elul you can say ketivah v’hatimah tovah (“a good writing and a good seal”) or Shanah tovah tikateyvu (“may you be written for a good year”) to people through Rosh HaShanah.
From Rosh HaShanah until Yom Kippur wish people a hatimah tovah (“a good seal”) or shanah tovah tekhateymu (“may you be sealed for a good year”). After Rosh HaShanah you don’t wish people ketivah tovah, a “good writing”, since that would indicate that you think that they’re wicked and not yet written…and as you get later in the Ten Day period, it’s more of a statement about how much repentance you think they still have to do!