Posted tagged ‘Yom Kippur’


October 5, 2022

fastingToday, I am fasting.   Why, you ask?  It is Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement on which it is traditional for observant Jews to fast all day.  Am I a Jew, observant or otherwise?  No, I consider myself spiritual but not religious but Judaism is as close as I’ve come to a religious landing place since I left my childhood religion at 18.  That is a result of raising my children Jewish, taking several classes on Judaism and attending services for about 20 years.  During those years we belonged to Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana and I became fond of the notion of a Day of Atonement during which you took stock of the previous year, atoned for you mistakes and started anew.  The Yom Kippur liturgy leads us through an inventory of the year, along with an ample helping pf praising God, thanking God and asking God for forgiveness.  My wife and I no longer belong to a temple or attend service, but for years we’ve gone to a park on Yom Kippur with prayer books in hand and read the liturgy aloud.   And fasted. (more…)

Turn a Page

September 26, 2012

It is Erev Yom Kippur … the eve of The Day of Atonement.  It is the day on which observant Jews … and quite a few unobservant ones … take a day to to afflict the soul to atone for sins of the past year.  Many Jews, even those who don’t regularly attend services, will attend synagogue and fast from sunset on Tuesday until sunset on Wednesday.   That seems like a rather mild affliction of the soul to earn a year’s atonement, doesn’t it?  Of course, the Talmud specifies additional restrictions, including: washing an bathing, using cosmetics, wearing leather or having sex.  Still, it sounds like a good deal.   Observing Yom Kippur alone doesn’t atone for sins against our fellow man, though.   For that, you need to seek reconciliation with those you’ve wronged, making retribution if possible. (more…)

Atonement and Forgiveness

October 8, 2011

This morning, Muri and I will be back in the park, reading the Yom Kippur liturgy from the High Holidays prayerbook, the machzor, bringing the Days of Awe to an end.   As with Rosh Hashanah last Thursday, we began the holiday last night with a nice dinner, roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and spinach then went out for frozen yogurt afterward.  We’ve been fasting since then and will until sunset today, as is traditional, symbolically putting our spiritual life before our physical needs and wants.   Yom Kippur literally means The Day of Atonement on which we complete the process of repentance or teshuvah for transgressions we’ve committed during the past year.  The liturgy includes two confessions, Ashamnu, a short list of sins in general form and Al Cheit, a longer and more specific list excerpted here: (more…)