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Yom Kippur

May our pleas rise to You in the evening
May You receive our cries during the day
And may you confirm our rejoicing by evening.

. . .

Is this the kind of fast I wanted, a day whose focus is self-affliction? Do I really want you to bow your head like a bullrush, to wear sackcloth and ashes? Is this what you mean by a fast, a day to obtain God's approval? Hello, this is the kind of fast I want: Loosen the bonds created by wickedness, untie the cords that keep people enslaved, snap all the yokes of the oppressed, and let them go free. Share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless into your house; provide clothing for those who lack it, and do not turn away from those in need.

Then your light will break through like the dawn, and your healing energies will quickly spread .... Then when you call, God will answer; you will ask for help, and God will respond 'Hineni – here I am." - Isaiah

. . .

"And Adonai said, 'I have forgiven them [the people] as you have asked.'"

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 16th, 2013 01:05 am (UTC)

LOL, I guess it was good? That's not a word one usually associates with a holiday where you are supposed to consider all the things you did wrong in the past year ... .


(Deleted comment)
Sep. 16th, 2013 11:45 am (UTC)

These are the holidays that I celebrate/have celebrated in the past:

  • Rosh Hashana - New Year, also traditionally the "birthday of the world" (early fall)
  • Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement, marked by fasting, confessions of sins in the past year, and resolutions to do better in the new year - a VERY SERIOUS holiday (10 days after Rosh Hashana)
  • Sukkot (say "SOO - kote") - the "festival of booths" - a harvest festival, pagan in origin, where small shacks (each one called a "sukkah") with roofs "through which you can see the sky" are built and decorated; people eat in them and even sleep in them (especially if kids are involved (early autumn)
  • Simchat Torah - a joyous celebration of the Torah. This is the day when the Torah scroll, read passage by passage throughout the year from beginning to end, is rolled back to the start again.(autumn)
  • Hanukkah/Chanukah - "festival of lights"; celebration of a historic event: a revolt against foreign occupation of Israel and the cleansing and rededication of the Temple afterward (late fall/early winter ... very early this year)
  • Tu B'Shevat - the "New Year of Trees": an agricultural festival associated with the time for the pruning and planting of fruit trees in Israel. Now often celebrated with ecological themes as well as a symbolic meal of different kinds of fruit. (mid- to late winter)
  • Purim - the most single-mindedly happy festival there is, celebrated with the reading of the Book of Esther in synagogue (with people encouraged to make noise to drown out the name of the villain every time he is mentioned), kids dressing up in costume (traditionally as the characters in the story of Esther, but nowadays pretty much like Halloween), carnival-type games, drinking and eating, and "Purim spiels" where the story of the holiday is acted out with silly, satiric plays, often incorporating music parodies and references to popular culture. (late winter)
  • Pesach (Passover) - the "fast of unleavened bread," celebrating the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt. Celebrated with a ceremonial meal ("seder") at which the story of the holiday is told, and an 8-day fast during which no leavened bread (and traditionally no other wheat-flour products, including pasta, crackers, etc., except for matzah) is eaten. (early spring)
  • Shavuot - the name means "weeks." Theoretically, this commemorates the giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai. Practically, it is another agricultural festival, marking the time after winter when the cattle, goats, sheep (and probably camels too) begin giving milk prolifically again. Usually celebrated with dairy foods. (My mother would make cheese kreplach - basically, Jewish ravioli, served with butter.) (spring)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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