Yom Kippur

Day of Atonement

Yom Kippur's Origins

Yom Kippur means "Day of Atonement" and refers to the annual Jewish observance of fasting, prayer, and repentance. Part of the High Holidays, which also includes Rosh HaShanah (the Jewish New Year), Yom Kippur is considered the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.

Yom Kippur is the moment in Jewish time when we dedicate our mind, body, and soul to reconciliation with our fellow human beings, ourselves, and God. As the New Year begins, we commit to self-reflection and inner change. As both seekers and givers of pardon, we turn first to those whom we have wronged, acknowledging our sins and the pain we have caused them. We are also commanded to forgive, to be willing to let go of any resentment we feel towards those who have committed offenses against us. Only then can we turn to God and ask for forgiveness. As we read in the Yom Kippur liturgy, “And for all these, God of forgiveness, forgive us, pardon us, and grant us atonement.”

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Kol Nidrei

Sounds of Kol Nidrei

The melody that stirs the heart of Ashkenazic Jews is of unknown origin, but is part of a body of music known as "MiSinai melodies" that emerged in Germany between the 11th and 15th centuries.

Chocolate Outs Jews on Yom Kippur

Crypto-Jews living in Mexico in the 17th century, under the surveillance of the Inquisition, developed sticky subterfuges to avoid being outed for their undercover Jewish practices, including those that related to chocolate drinking.

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Congregation Beth Am photo at Pride March

 

Ways to Prepare

How to Ready Your Young Child for Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur and toddlers don’t seem to go together very well. On the most solemn day of the calendar, it can be difficult to figure out what to do with a young child who isn’t ready to sit in services all day.

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