It feels like this month slipped away since so much of Elul was shared with the American summer vacation months. Until schools were underway (I am in Jewish Education), it was already a week until Rosh Hashanah.

Let me add a note about our beautiful minahgim. We know that KAJ blows Shofar in Elul at Shacharis and Mincha. Three Tashrats are sounded each time. Minhagei Yeshurun says that “Ledovid (ps 27) is not said Betzibur. (In Yisroel Sideny S.’s Minhogei Yeshurun he has the word “Betzibur” underlined. This is because when he came to KAJ from his childhood shul Shaarei Hatikvah he asked Rav Schwab if he should be Matir Neder and cease saying Ledovid, Rav Schwab advise him to continue saying it and not be Matir Neder. While members of smaller German congregations were saying it (Beis Hillel, Sharei Hatikvah) and Rav Breuer was personally saying it (due to his Hungarian background, perhaps) it is not assumed that the congregation is saying it.

Finally, KAJ stops blowing Shofar 2 days before ROsh Hashanh. C. Gordimer advises me that Shaarei Hatikvah stopped blowing 3 days before, and his is the minhag mentioned in the Maharil. So where does two days come from? Mr Gordimer tells me that Dovid Roth (author Shivchei Yeshurun) suggested that it is to accomplish 30 days of shofar in Toto with Rosh Hashanah. When I mentioned this on social media someone rejected this since we are not blowing on Shabbos, it will not equal 30 days. I would suggest that since the poskim advise that Shofar must not be blown on Erev Rosh Hashanah beginning from nightfall…and our Minhag is to blow at Mincha, which was often davened after sunset, we would need to cancel the Shofar for the day preceding Erev Rosh Hashanah in order to eliminate that late evening Shofar blast.

One nice memory that just came to mind as I was flipping through a recent print of the Rodelheim Siddur: In 1996 I was visiting my family in Basel for Pesach. One night before Pesach after Maariv in shul the tzibur went outside for Kidush Levana. I took my Roedelheim in hand and began flipping around to find the ever-evasive Kiddush Levanah. Suddenly I hear someone over my shoulder giving me the exact page number. It was Victor Golschmidt himself! The very publisher of that good book! What an honor, indeed.

Shanah Tovah. Good Health to all and thank you for reading my musings.

Elul Days

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