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Yom Kippur Reflection

Who By Strangling And Who By Starbucks: The Fate Of Yom Kippur

Marty Kaplan | Posted 10.05.2016 | Religion
Marty Kaplan

I believe in the story of a God who writes and seals my fate in a Book of Life each year, but I don't believe in such a God, and I can't accept that concept of fate. Here's what I do accept, because I have to: Fatality, which fate inheres in, doesn't depend on my believing in it or not.

We Each Have Two Lives. The Second Begins When We Realize We Have Only One

Rabbi Arthur Waskow | Posted 10.06.2016 | Religion
Rabbi Arthur Waskow

Can't I be even a teeny bit resentful that I do all these good deeds, behave in all the right ways, and God (whatever and whoever that is) didn't see fit to save my son's life?

Uncovering My White Privilege on Yom Kippur

Rachel Laser | Posted 09.29.2016 | Religion
Rachel Laser

In the spirit of Yom Kippur, I would like to do some of my own reflective and repentant work about white privilege, a topic that can benefit from the courage and heightened clarity that Yom Kippur brings.

At Home With God

Barry David Kluger | Posted 09.24.2016 | Religion
Barry David Kluger

Have I repented? Have I asked for redemption of my transgressions? Have I become a better person because I have looked into my heart and my soul and asked for guidance to set my life on a course that will cause His countenance to shine upon me? I certainly hope so - but in the end, that's really between me and my God.

An Erev Yom Kippur Letter Asking You to Stay Married

Shlomo Slatkin | Posted 09.21.2016 | Religion
Shlomo Slatkin

G-d believes we can change even though every Yom Kippur we stand before Him pretty much the same as the year before so why can't we hold the hope for our spouse?

Yom Kippur, the Annual Purge

Chef Rossi | Posted 09.22.2016 | Religion
Chef Rossi

We lived in Bradley Beach, New Jersey, until I was 10 years old. We always lived near the shul (synagogue) and could walk to services every Shabbos (Sabbath) on Saturday mornings. The distance was important because driving on Shabbos was, "Nit Fayn" (not nice) according to Mom.

How to Say Sorry: A Step-by-Step Guide for Yom Kippur

Rabbi Mark Wildes | Posted 09.22.2016 | Religion
Rabbi Mark Wildes

There's nothing wrong with sending apology texts, or using technology to connect with those far away, but for many the High Holidays tradition of apologizing to those we have wronged has largely become a perfunctory gesture and that's a shame.

Shatter our Complacency

Naomi Kikoler | Posted 09.21.2016 | Religion
Naomi Kikoler

Last week I stood inside the crumbling walls of the last synagogue in northern Iraq. Abandoned over sixty years ago, the 2700 year old tomb of Nahum, rests in the Christian town of Al Qosh.

Midlife Reflection or Just Jewish?

Alisa Schindler | Posted 12.03.2014 | Religion
Alisa Schindler

Lately I've been thinking I'm suffering from a midlife crisis. I'm contemplative and reflective. I'm wistful and full of regret. I'm appreciative for what I have, yet searching for things I don't.

Putting the Santa Claus Back in Yom Kippur

Eric Kaplan | Posted 12.03.2014 | Religion
Eric Kaplan

"Why have holidays at all?" I asked myself. Why, other than to make money for CVS, do we have Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas? Don't we want to be thankful all the time for the good in our lives?

Yom Kippur 5775: Israeli Liberals Are in Pain

Carlo Strenger | Posted 12.03.2014 | Home
Carlo Strenger

While I can humanly and psychologically understand why fear pushes many Israelis to the right, I cannot help feeling, along with many of my friends, that the country is moving so far away from our ideals and values that we are becoming strangers in our own land.

Stop Feeling So Guilty! A New Prayer for Yom Kippur

Rabbi Evan Moffic | Posted 11.29.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Evan Moffic

On Friday Jews around the world will confess their sins. One of the central prayers of the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) worship service is Ashamnu, which means "We have sinned." The prayer consists of 24 lines describing sins we have committed.

Learning to Fly

Rabbi Will Berkovitz | Posted 11.23.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Will Berkovitz

The month and days preceding the Jewish High Holidays are when we do what is called a heshbon nefesh: an accounting of the soul. We talk to the folks we may have had challenges with in the past year and we strive to make amends -- to ask for forgiveness.

Yom Kippur Sermon 5774

Rabbi Chaim Miller | Posted 11.12.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Chaim Miller

Wwhen life throws us misfortune, G-d forbid, it's just a wrong turn. We have to believe we will get there in the end, and not to lose sight of the destination, a happy, fulfilled life.

September 11th and the 40th Anniversary of the Yom Kippur War

Rabbi Michael Bernstein | Posted 11.11.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Michael Bernstein

This year, the proximity of the anniversaries on two different calendars leads me to think about one through the lens of the other. The theme that runs through both is that we must learn both through what is broken and what is whole.

Much More Than Atonement, Yom Kippur Calls Us to Courageous Self-Disclosure

Rabbi Melissa Weintraub | Posted 11.11.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Melissa Weintraub

A decade ago I walked into my parent's living room to discover my beloved grandfather, hunched over his walker and weeping while cranking nineteenth century romantic Russian orchestral music.

Yom Kippur, Divorce, and Three Little Words: I Am Sorry

Diane L. Danois, J.D. | Posted 11.03.2013 | Divorce
Diane L. Danois, J.D.

On Yom Kippur, we are instructed to seek atonement from those we have wronged... those who we have intentionally or unintentionally transgressed... so that we are assured a blessing in the Book of Life.

'Hineni': Leadership Lessons From the High Holy Liturgy

Rabbi Mishael Zion | Posted 11.03.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Mishael Zion

In the synagogue of my childhood, as the leader rose from his seat and slowly walked to the lectern to begin Musaf, a hush fell over the congregation.

The Questions I Wish I Had Asked

Rabbi Richard A. Block | Posted 10.08.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Richard A. Block

As the high holy days approach, so early this year, memories of those I have loved and lost coming flooding to mind.

I Wore Prada To Temple For Yom Kippur And I Lived To Tell The Tale

Elizabeth Dosoretz | Posted 12.04.2012 | Style
Elizabeth Dosoretz

Not only was my walk up to the front of the temple painful and scary, but my time standing on the bimah was even more difficult. As I read the passages, all I could think about were my shoes. I was in pain and hoped nobody could tell.

So Close And Yet So Far: Reconnecting To Our Fellow Person

Rabbi Avi Weiss | Posted 11.25.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Avi Weiss

How many friends on Facebook are really friends? On this Yom Kippur, let's resolve to connect, really connect with our fellow person -- our siblings, our children, our spouses, all people.

A Vegetarian Teshuvah

Alison Laichter | Posted 11.20.2012 | Religion
Alison Laichter

I started doing some research because I was horrified by my own visions of screeching chickens, blood and feathers. I knew this wasn't a practice I would ever do. In my search for more information, I heard a great story.

Why Americans Dismiss Sin

Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie | Posted 12.20.2011 | Religion
Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie

Fresh from the jarring experience of Yom Kippur prayer, I find myself wishing that we would struggle with sin more than we do.

Have We Forgotten How To Cry?

Rabbi David Wolpe | Posted 12.07.2011 | Religion
Rabbi David Wolpe

On Yom Kippur in traditional synagogues people would weep. They would beat their chests as tears streamed down their faces. But for many to display genuine feeling in public is an embarrassment.

What Are Jews Fighting For?

Dovid Efune | Posted 12.07.2011 | Religion
Dovid Efune

For Jews, the holy day of Yom Kippur is recognized as a time for introspection and reckoning. In this spirit, it may be appropriate to take a step back and ponder the "State of the Jewish Union."