Wormicide, a poem by Rabbi Alter Abelson (1931)

The poem “Wormicide” (1931) by Rabbi Alter Abelson. . . .

A Kavvanah for Waking Up, by Andrew Shaw

An original liturgical poem inspired by the Modah|Modeh Ani prayer. . . .

Explanation and ritual for the Jewish New Year’s Day for Animals, Rosh haShanah la-Behemah on Rosh Ḥodesh Elul

Once upon a time when the Temple still stood, the Rosh haShanah la-Behemah celebrated one means by which we elevated and esteemed the special creatures that helped us to live and to work. Just as rabbinic Judaism found new ways to realize our Temple offerings with tefillot — prayers — so too the Rosh haShanah la-Behemah challenges us to realize the holiness of the animals in our care in a time without tithes. The Jewish New Year’s Day for Animals is a challenge to remind and rediscover what our responsibilities are to the animals who depend on us for their welfare. Are we treating them correctly and in accord with the mitsvah of tsa’ar baalei ḥayyim — sensitivity to the suffering of living creatures? Have we studied and understood the depth of ḥesed — lovingkindness — expressed in the breadth of our ancestors teachings concerning the welfare of animals in Torah?haShanah la-Behemah is the day to reflect on our immediate or mediated relationships with domesticated animals, recognize our personal responsibilities to them, individually and as part of a distinct and holy people, and repair our relationships to the best of our ability. . . .


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