Meditation Before Yom Kippur for One Who Cannot Fast
The Calendar, Yet Again
The number of months, with God, is 12 in the Book of God, the day that He created the heavens and the earth… The month postponed is an increase of unbelief whereby the unbelievers go astray; one year they make it profane, and hallow it another…
A Nice Place to Visit, But…
There are people with hearts of stone; there are stones with human hearts.
-The Wall, by Yossi Gamzu
Holding My Father's Prayer Book
Guila remembers holding the prayer book for her father, who had cerebral palsy, every Yom Kippur. "What many might imagine to have been a dreary religious obligation was, for me, a highly emotional, touching experience."
This Yom Kippur, Try a Little Tenderness
Thirty years ago, Rabbi Motti Rotem, the first sabra (Israeli-born Jew) to be ordained as a Reform rabbi in Israel, addressed his congregation from the pulpit before Yom Kippur.
Confession: A Poem for the Vidui
Although we may not think of Judaism as a religion of confession, we often are called to profess our sins – privately, between oneself and God.
A Time to Follow Rules and a Time to Break Them
As a young girl, I was very compliant. If I was told to do something, I generally did it; if I was told not to do something, I usually didn’t. Of course, there were exceptions – ah, the motorcycle ride – but I think of myself as a rule follower.
The Music of Avinu Malkeinu
In the game “Truth-or-Dare,” I choose “truth” nearly every time. I’m not much of a dare-taker. Thus, if you and I were playing “Special Edition Truth-or-Dare: High Holy Days,” I would confess that the prayer Avinu Malkeinu provides me with both my second-favorite liturgical moment and my second-greatest pet peeve of the year’s liturgy. (Note: Even though I may have to repent for it, I will leave you in suspense about my favorite liturgical moment and my greatest liturgical pet peeve. Also, “Special Edition Truth-or-Dare: High Holy Days” is fictional, although I hereby declare copyright in the event Mattel or Hasbro comes knocking at my door.)
Torah Cantillation for the High Holy Days
There are many elements which make the High Holy Days a unique experience. Often, congregations swell to double or triple their usual size, the musical settings of even common liturgy are different, and some might alter their dress by wearing either traditionally all-white garments or more formal wear than they would sport on Shabbat. Some congregations even have unique garments to dress their Torah scrolls in white.