At one time, it was customary for Reform rabbis and cantors to wear robes when leading worship.
The practice of fasting goes back to the biblical verse in Leviticus 26:27, which instructs the people of Israel to "afflict their souls" on Yom Kippur.
Typically, young people are expected to fast once they have become b’nei mitzvah, the age after which they are considered adults in the religious community.
Yom Kippur does have a confession service. Here's how it is and isn't similar to the Catholic practice of confession.
Namath: I ask you to join me in making a new year’s resolution. Let us resolve to do better for 10 million of our children. Let us provide them with the health care they deserve by covering them through SCHIP.
If, as the Talmud tells us, the blasts of the shofar are meant to remind us of crying, (Babylonian Talmud, Rosh Hashanah 33A – specifically of Sisera’s mother – but that is another subject!), then I would offer the following.
Although we’re barely into the dog days of August, the High Holidays are fast approaching. The first of Elul, the Hebrew month that precedes Tishrei and the start of Rosh HaShanah, begins at sundown this Tuesday, which means that Wednesday, August 7th is the first of Elul.