High Holiday Honors

There is an established tradition through the generations that being called to the Torah - especially on the holiest days on the Jewish calendar - is a great source of merit and blessing, as the individuals thus called upon stand before the Almighty as representatives of the entire congregation. Whether it's opening the ark for "Psichah", lifting the Torah for "Hagbah", tying the Torah for "Glilah" or leading the congregation in blessing via the "Borchu", each of these honors serves as an "Aliyah" - a personal spiritual elevation - for the "Oleh" (the one ascending) and for all members of his family.

Since "one mitzvah begets another", in many congregations these honors are customarily assigned to those who "bid" the highest amounts to Tzedakah during a special "Mitzvah Auction" held prior to the Torah reading. This year, Chabad will be "pre-selling" the honors at a set contribution level listed below. [However place the amount you would like to donate. If we dont get the suggested bid we will accept the highest offer.] They will be awarded on a first response basis to email address [email protected] or visit www.JewishAnthem.com/donate

In the merit of your generous and diligent mitzvah, may you and yours indeed "rise" to ever greater heights - in both material and spiritual matters - yielding abundant blessings for a happy, healthy and sweet New Year.

You may bid/purchase an Aliya and honor someone other than yourself with it. Makes for a nice and meaningful New Years gift.

Here is a list of the main Honors and below you'll find a full list together with an explanation for each of the honors.

Kol  Nidrei
1) Opening of the Ark
2) Holding the Torah Scrolls 

Morning Service

Psicha - Opening of Ark 
First Aliya 
Second Aliya 
3rd Aliya 
4th Aliya 
5th Aliya 
6th Aliya 
7th Aliyah 
Hagba - Lifting the Torah
Gelilah - Wrapping the Torah

Psicha - Opening of Ark 
First Aliya 
Second Aliya 
Maftir Yona 

Psicha Neilah - Opening the Ark for Neilah

Below is a list of all the "honors" available for Yom Kippur. 
In the interest of helping the shul raise some needed funds, please look through this list, see what "talks" to you and let me know which one you can choose and for what amount (the amount is left up for you to decide).

Kol Nidrei 

1) Opening of the Ark. - It is very meritorious for one to open the Ark, and take out the Torah-scrolls to be held during Kol Nidrei. While removing the Sifrei Torah one should kiss and caress them while confessing his sins Opening the Ark, especially the first one, funnels through the blessings 
of G‑d. 
2) Holding the Torah Scrolls - It is taught: It is a source of merit to hold any of the scrolls – especially the first one – during Kol Nidrei and is a very great privilege (Yesod v'Shoresh ha'Avodah; Ari Z"L). This honor stands you right next to the cantor installing you as a member of the ecclesiastical court, which annuls all unfulfilled vows, thereby, dispensing forgiveness to the Jewish community.

Evening Ark Openings 
3) May our Supplication Ascend - This piyut of unknown origin introduces the evening supplications. It is a plea for G‑d to accept our prayers favorably. This honor enables one to personally request G‑d for the fulfillment of one's needs. 
4) Pardon the Wrongdoings - This verse was Moses' plea to G‑d that He forgive Israel after the sin of the Spies. In the prayers of Yom Kippur, we too beg for forgiveness. This honor merits Salachti – "I forgive" – from G‑d. 
5) Indeed as the Clay - Here we acknowledge that we are in G‑d's Hands as clay is in the hands of the potter. This honor allows you to be a tool in G‑d's Hands. 
6) Hear our Voice - The theme expressed by this collection of verses is that we must rely upon 
G‑d to desire our survival, and, therefore, to help us come closer to Him through repentance. This honor assures one not to be cast into "old age," mentally and physically. 
7) Our Father, our King - This prayer was, at its core, composed by R' Akiva which brought the end to a drought. This formula became a feature of our prayers during fasts and at other times of need. Yom Kippur is such a time. This honor affords one fulfillment of all requests and petitions. 
8) By David a Psalm - The Talmud (Shabbat 119a) tells of a wealthy man who would recite this psalm before beginning his meal to express his gratitude to G‑d and to acknowledge His benevolence. We, too, recite it now on the holiest day of the year in acknowledgment of G‑d's annual blessings. Some have a custom to add a silent Kabalistic prayer (Chida). This honor procures the blessings of prosperity and wealth. 

Shachrit Ark Openings 
9) Song of the Ascents - The eleventh [out of fifteen] song [s] of ascent taken from Psalms. These 
were chanted in the Temple, signifying one's successive ascent in one's spiritual travels. This psalm teaches us not to despair. G‑d in His mercy seeks His lost child who desires to return. This honor elevates one to great spiritual heights. 
10) Repetition of the Amida [Opening Rendition] - The one opening the Ark becomes an emissary – together with the cantor – for the congregation in their prayers and supplication to G‑d. In a sense he is opening the gateway to allow our prayers to ascend Heavenward, while allowing the blessings of Al-mighty G‑d to descend upon us. 
11) You are our G‑d - This stirring piyut (poem) speaks of the power and sovereignty of G‑d. It 
reiterates the theme that the Days of Awe is dedicated to proclaiming G‑d as the true king. One who opens the Ark is crowning the Al-mighty with this prayer. This honor makes you a guardian of the Royal Crown. 
12) Extol G‑d - The word Imru ("extol") is an acrostic for E-l Melech rachum v'chanun ("G‑d, the King, merciful and gracious"). This honor will shower G‑d's mercy and grace upon you. 
13) Power and Trustworthiness - This is a song recited by the angels. On Yom Kippur when Israel rises to the level of the angels, they also recite this angelic song. This honor makes you a Malach Elokim – "Emissary of G‑d" – to His people. 
14) To the G‑d Who Arranges Judgment - Being that we all praise G‑d today, we now specify the praises due Him in this prose. The importance of this prayer – being that it is also the introduction to Kedusha – mandates that we stand during its recitation. This honor allows for G‑d's "arrangement" of merciful judgment upon you. 
15) Hear our Voice - See above # 6 for commentary and accompanying honor. 
16) Our Father, our King - See above # 7 for commentary and accompanying honor. 

Removal of the Sifrei Torah 
17) Opening of the Ark and Removal of Both Sifrei Torah - Kabala reveals that the opening of the Ark and removal of the Sifrei Torah opens the treasure trove of blessings from On-High. This applies especially so to one whose wife is pregnant, assuring an easy delivery. 
Reading of the Torah 
It is customary to sell the privilege of being called to the Torah on the High Holy Days. Since it is considered meritorious to be called to the Torah, one should extend oneself to purchase an Aliyah if possible. The number of people called to the Torah on Shabbat Yom Kippur is seven, with the addition of the Maftir (and its Haftorah). On most festivals, the Torah reading is a selection on either the historical narrative of the day or the commandment related to its observance. The reading of Yom Kippur, quite appropriately, describes the service conducted by the High Priest on this holiest day of the year. Each Aliyah purchased has a personal connection and benefit to the person who acquires it. By expending funds to receive an Aliyah, one is "elevated" (Aliyah) with, and in this special merit. 
18) Kohen. - "Aaron's two sons…" (Nadav and Avihu). The passing of Aaron's righteous sons is relevant to the spirit of Yom Kippur, for: "Just as Yom Kippur brings atonement, so, too, does the death of the righteous…" (Vayikra Rabba, 20:12). This honor, the Zohar teaches, takes the place of the sacrifices on Yom Kippur. 
19) Levi - "…And for his household." Aaron's confession is for the sake of his immediate and extended family (the Kohanim). Be a part of the priestly family and gain atonement through its High 
20) Shlishi - "…Who dwells with them amid their contamination." Our service to G‑d causes Him to abide within and among us. This is the ultimate mission of the Jew. This honor brings you within the proximity of G‑d's Divine glory. 
21) Rvi'I - "All the iniquities." Unlike the offerings mentioned previously, which atoned for sins involving contamination and the Temple, this (the Azazel) atoned for all transgressions over the past year (Shavuot 2b) Purchasing this honor goes a long way in wiping your slate completely clean. 
22) Chamishi - "For through this day atonement will be made for you, to purify you…" The 
essence of the day itself atones (Yoma)! Take the honor you will come out smelling like a rose. 
23) Shishi - "This shall be an eternal statute to bring atonement upon the Children of 
Israel." If you haven't had a chance, this is the last one before Maftir, to really atone for the past. 
24) Shveie 
25) Maftir - The Haftorah read for this Maftir is a selection from Isaiah chosen because of its focus on the proper manner of penitence. The prophet harshly criticizes those who think they can gain appeasement from G‑d by merely fasting and through physical affliction devoid of inner-conviction. Instead, he urges; true repentance involves extreme kindness and charity and changing one's ways. By acquiring this honor you epitomize what Isaiah wanted from Israel, thereby finding favor in G‑d's Eyes. 
26) Raising of the Torah Scrolls - When raising the Torah one "raises with it all the previous Aliyot" and receives reward for all the Aliyot rolled in one (Shulchan Aruch). 
27) Wrapping of the Torah Scrolls - HaKol holeich achar ha'chitum ("Everything goes according to the end")! Children may participate in this honor. As it is with the previous honor, you receive a measure of reward for all the Aliyot purchased heretofore. 

Mussaf Ark Openings
28) Repetition of the Amida [Opening Rendition] - In addition to this being the beginning of all the Mussaf Ark openings, in this opening the cantor seeks permission and justification for interrupting the core repetition of the Amida with piyutim (prose) authored and based on the tradition of our wise and discerning teachers. They felt the day itself called forth for additional prayer during the liturgy. See above # 10 for accompanying honor 
29) Extol G‑d - See above # 12 for commentary and accompanying honor. 
30) Let Us Proclaim - This prayer is considered to be the most stirring composition in the entire liturgy of the Days of Awe. Written by R' Amnon of Mainz, 1000 years ago. The local bishop insisted that R' Amnon, whom he considered a friend and trusted advisor, convert to Christianity. To buy some time, R' Amnon requested a three day grace period before replying to the request/demand. Upon returning home he was overly distraught at having given the impression that he was even considering such an overture. He spent the next three days in solitude and prayer and did not return to the bishop at the appointed time. Finally, the bishop had him brought under guard and demanded an answer. R' Amnon replied that his tongue should be cut out for even hinting that he would consider the matter. Furious, the bishop responded that the crime lay not in his tongue [for what he said], but 
in his legs, for not showing up at the appointed time. He then ordered R' Amnon's legs be severed one by one, and then in turn, each hand and arm. Prior to each amputation, he was asked if he would convert, and each time he refused. He was finally carried home maimed and mutilated. 
When Rosh Hashanah arrived, R' Amnon asked to brought before the open Ark. Before the congregation recited the Kedusha (sanctifying G‑d and His Glory), he introduced this heartfelt rendition of surrender to G‑d, at the conclusion of which he gave up his pure soul to Heaven. 
Three days later R' Amnon appeared in a dream to R' Klonimus b. Meshullam and taught him the text of the prayer and asked him to ensure that it be inserted forever after into the liturgy. R' Amnon's wish was carried out and the prayer has become an integral part of the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services (Ohr Zaru'a). The beauty of this prayer and basis upon which it was formed makes it one 
of the greatest honors to acquire. 
31) He Holds in His Hand - Having just proclaimed our total subordination to G‑d, upon Whom 
everything rests, we now describe His majesty: All knowing, All-powerful and All merciful. Imagine G‑d's mercy and favor enveloping you when opening the Ark at this time. 
32) It is Incumbent upon us to Praise - With this familiar prayer we acknowledge G‑d's kingship over the entire Universe. Joshua composed Aleinu after crossing the Jordan River into Israel (Rokeach, Kol Bo, Rav Hai Gaon). The Bach explains that Aleinu was added to implant faith in G‑d, King of all kings. It is at this time that we prostrate ourselves in utter subjugation to Him as they did in the Temple of old. 
33) Hear our Voice - See above # 6 for commentary and accompanying honor. 
34) On this Day Strengthen Us - This final Ark opening of the daytime prayer assuredly contains within it all the previous Ark openings of the day's lengthy service. As stated by our Sages: Everything follows the seal (the end)." This honor, no doubt, will "strengthen you" in the coming year. 

Mincha Ark Openings & Torah Reading 
35) Opening of the Ark and Removal of the Sefer Torah - See above # 17 for commentary and accompanying honor. 
36) Kohen - "You shall observe My statutes…and by which [you] shall live in them…" One who buys this Aliyah will merit the energy promised by fulfilling G‑d's Mitzvot. 
37) Levi - With this honor one will be spurred to repent and overcome sin and passion. 
38) Haggbah & Galilah 
39) Maftir Yonah - This is the most important Aliyah of the day, as well as the last. Tradition tells us that buying this honor is a special segulah for wealth. In communities the world over this merit is bought for thousands of dollars. Remember, you reap what you sow. There can be no better investment than this.

Neilah – "The Closing Prayer" 
40) This is the final Ark opening of Yom Kippur. Suffice it to say, this is truly the end – the chatimah – of our service and petition to G‑d. This is your final chance, before the "Gates of Heaven" close ("Neilah"). With this honor you are the "gatekeeper" for our final supplications. Tradition tells us that the one who merits opening the Ark for Neilah will be blessed with long life! 

41) Break-The-Fast