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With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. A few years ago, I was in a synagogue, and I overheard one man ask another, "When is Chanukkah this year?" The other man smiled slyly and replied, "Same as always: the 25th of Kislev." This humorous comment makes an important point: the date of Jewish holidays does not change from year to year.Holidays are celebrated on the same day of the Jewish calendar every year, but the Jewish year is not the same length as a solar year on the civil calendar used by most of the western world, so the date shifts on the civil calendar.The Jewish calendar is based on three astronomical phenomena: the rotation of the Earth about its axis (a day); the revolution of the moon about the Earth (a month); and the revolution of the Earth about the sun (a year).
The Jewish calendar, however, coordinates all three of these astronomical phenomena.At first the Rabbi pleaded with the butcher to have compassion on him. When the Rabbi saw that nothing he could say would make a difference, he started to mentally focus on all of the positive qualities and attributes of the butcher. The butcher began to cry, kissed the Rabbi, and begged his forgiveness.The lesson: Love others and they can't help but to love you! The Talmud teaches that "there is no free lunch." Anything of value comes with a price tag, and if something is given away free, we should suspect that it may be worthless.Go to Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler (1892-1953), an influential philosopher and dean of students at the Ponovezh Yeshiva in Israel.Rabbi Dessler was born in Lithuania and later moved to England, before finally settling in Israel.