Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Customs for Erev Rosh Hashana

Customs for Erev Rosh Hashana
Day: Wednesday
Date: September 3, 2014
Parshat: Ki Tetze
Yalkut Yosef: 581

Some people have a custom to go to the cemetery on Erev Rosh Hashana and pray at the graves of tzadikim. One who does this must ensure that he does not pray to, or make requests of, the deceased. Rather, he should pray to HaShem to have mercy on him in the merit of the tzadik buried there. Obviously Kohanim are forbidden from going to the cemetery to pray. The accepted custom is to get a haircut on Erev Rosh Hashana and to wear nice fresh clothing on Rosh Hashana itself. The reason for this is to show that we are confident that HaShem, in his infinite kindness, will grant us a favorable judgement. Our custom is for men to go to the mikvah before Rosh Hashana. A man who is unable to go may pour 9 kav (about 3 1/4 gallons) of water over himself instead. A three minute shower would suffice.

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