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Sealed for Life or Death?

The beautiful, melodious liturgy of Yom Kippur suggests a heavenly court in which God reviews each individual and decrees the destiny of each person for the coming year. This is powerful poetry that should make us stop and think about our lives and our behavior.

D'var Torah By: 
Un’taneh Tokef: Reflecting on Your Legacy
Davar Acher By: 
Rabbi P.J. Schwartz

The Un’taneh Tokef prayer is undoubtedly one of the most challenging pieces of Jewish liturgy. It encompasses traditional messages of Yom Kippur and the High Holiday season that can prove to be theologically challenging: God is judge and arbiter; Our fate has been determined, and there is nothing that we can do but accept the decree. Regardless of the theological implications found in the text, the prayer does challenge us to confront our own mortality and reflect on how we want to be remembered.

Yom Kippur: It Is Not in the Heavens

Central to the "Torah"—my father, Jacob Milgrom, z"l, taught me and countless others—was the revolution of priestly theology.

D'var Torah By: 
A Communal Experience
Davar Acher By: 
Erica Asch

Yom Kippur is indeed not in the heavens, as Rabbi Milgrom points out. But it is also not solely within us as individuals because we experience it in the midst of a community.

Voices of Torah / Yom HaKippurim

Decades ago, Rabbi Jack Reimer explained Yom Kippur for me this way. It's not saying: I'm sorry I was bad and I won't do it again.

D'var Torah By: 
Yom Kippur: A Wedding Day
Davar Acher By: 
Ilene Keys

Every young girl dreams of her wedding day: the perfect day, when, dressed in white, she walks slightly above the ground because her spirit is elevated and her soul is soaring.

Sometimes We Are Jonah

Every Yom Kippur afternoon, congregations all over the world read the Book of Jonah, as set out for us in the Babylonian Talmud, M'gillah 31a.

D'var Torah By: 
Repenting in the Morning to Laugh in the Afternoon
Davar Acher By: 
Donald P. Cashman

I've come to think of Jonah as Yom Kippur's comedy relief. God says go one way; he goes the other.

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