• A chossid of the 5th Lubavitcher Rebbe, who was in need of parnossa, once asked for a brocha to become a chazzan.
The Rebbe agreed, but with three conditions:
1. Always go to a mikveh before davening.
2. Cover your head with your tallis while davening.
3. Don’t repeat any words when davening by the amud.
• Once two guests came to their Rebbe and one sang chazzanus to the words of Mipnei Chataeinu. The other guest said to the Rebbe, “That chossid is singing his own Mipnei Chataeinu!” The Rebbe replied, “That’s the problem with many other chazzanim. They sing others’ Mipnei Chataeinu.”
• Reb Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev once asked a chazzan, “Why is your voice hoarse?” the chazzan replied, “I daven in shul and scream for the people.” Reb Levi Yitzchok answered, “If you daven for Hashem, your voice won’t get hoarse.”
Teshuvah, Tefillah, Tzedakah – ותשובה ותפילה וצדקה
At the end of the U’Nesana Tokef prayer on Yom Kippur, we recite: “U’teshuvah, u’tefillah, u’tzedakah ma’avirin es roi’a ha gezeirah. Through repentance, prayer, and charity we reverse the negative decree.”
In the machzor, above the word u’teshuvah, the word tzom is written.
Above u’tefillah, the word kol is written. And, above the word u’tzedakah, the word mamon is written.
Now, none of these word pairings are synonymous, so why are they connected?
Tzom, kol, and mamon are actually Roshei Teivos!
• צום (Tzom) — צעקה ושנוי מעשה (Tza’akah v’shinui ma’aseh)
To scream out and change your ways.
• קול (Kol) — קדושה וטהר לבנו (Kedushah v’taher libeinu)
To become holier and purify our hearts.
• ממון (Mamon) — מוצי מחברו וגם נותן (Motzi m’chaveiro v’gam nosen)
Encourages people to give and gives himself.
Each word, tzom, kol, and mamon, has a gematria of 136 and when all three are added together, they equal 408 — “B’zos yavo Aharon. This is how Aharon comes to Hashem to ask forgivness for Klal Yisroel.” Zos equals 408, and Aharon came to Hashem through teshuvah, tefillah, and tzedakah, which equal 408.