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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.
As we no longer serve God through temple sacrifices, many Jews have come to understand the entire world, in essence, to be God’s temple. This year, I believe we have vandalized God’s temple with the blood of the innocent.
It's a challenge and necessity, especially during this pandemic, to set boundaries between work time and family or personal time, between home office and home. How do we do that, emotionally?
Like many, I'm mourning the chance to "go" to High Holiday services at my synagogue. But I've also had the joy of observing Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur at home, so I know this year will be wonderfully meaningful.
The new normal of distanced coronavirus kehilla t'filah (communal prayer) offers new ways to enhance your Home High Holidays. Consider these three previously banned behaviors to warm up your worship.
Remind my tired soul, I beg You / My kitchen is far too clean and the china is still in the basement / Remind me how to stop the mourning / for tables that don’t need extensions / quiet synagogues with no children to be shushed...
For many Jews, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is a fasting holiday – a day during which we abstain from eating, drinking, and even brushing our teeth or using perfumes. (Learn more about what we abstain from and why.)
While there are significant differences between how we usher in and observe the secular and Jewish New Year, both are times of transition that offer us an opportunity for self-reflection. Here are the key differences.
I do not believe that God sent us COVID-19, and I do not believe God will cure it. That is for humans to do, using our God-given intellect and ambition to develop the vaccines and treatments that will help stop the spread of this natural virus.