Rabbi Mordechai Willig – Rosh Hashana Machzor

September 2, 2020

Elul 5870

We find ourselves in an unprecedented crisis this year. While it is painful to do so, some communities have to shorten davening in order to minimize exposure to others or because social distancing logistics require using the same room more than once. Pikuach nefesh demands that we take this virus seriously and as such, we do have to make certain compromises so that we can daven in a safe environment.

This machzor provides a text for a shortened service. In choosing which sections to include, we followed the general guidance of the Rama (OC 619:1) and the Mishna Berura (6) who tell us that we should try to preserve the portions of davening that people are familiar with. While there are many beautiful and treasured poetic lines in Chazaras Hashatz written by greats such as Rav Elazar Hakalir, because of time constraints, some of those need to be omitted in favor of the piyutim that are more familiar. We encourage individuals to consult their machzor and study and recite these liturgical gems over the course of Rosh Hashanah. We have made every effort to retain parts of the service that are critical to the Rosh Hashanah experience of both recitation and song and we apologize if we erred in either direction.

Here is a summary of the tefilos that were chosen:

1) Chazaras Hashatz for Shacharis is identical on both days. It includes two piyutim.

2) Chazaras Hashatz for Mussaf for both days is almost identical with one additional piyut for first day. The text follows the regular text starting from the conclusion of mechayeh hameisim.

This machzor is meant for this year only.

Wishing you a happy, healthy and sweet new year,

Rabbi Mordechai Willig

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