The High Holidays are a time of introspection and self-assessment in anticipation of repentance, forgiveness, thanksgiving and rejoicing. It is a season of healing.
Rabbi Joseph Meszler offers a new take on an old prayer for these Days of Awe.
This prayer is about having compassion for ourselves while repairing the damage we’ve done to self and others. I wrote it after my first Yom Kippur in Jerusalem, my first in Israel as an oleh chadash (a new immigrant).
Jewish tradition recognizes that fasting is not a safe practice for all Jews. For this reason, children under the age of 13 and individuals who are pregnant or ill are not required to fast in Yom Kippur. For those who fall into this category, the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services provides a special meditation to recite instead, written by Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub.
The blessing after the reading of haftarah always sanctifies the day on which it is read. Throughout most of the year, that day is Shabbat, but haftarah is also read on the High Holidays.
On Yom Kippur, we share a holiday meal called seudat mafseket, the concluding meal before the fast begins. We begin the meal with haMotzi, the blessing over the challah