Beginning at sunset today, Jews celebrate Yom Kippur, the holiest day of their year. To commemorate the holiday, many  Jews commonly spend the day in prayer at their synagogue.

According to Leviticus 16:29 in the Bible, using the Jewish calendar, “And it shall be a statute for ever unto you: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and shall do no manner of work, the home-born, or the stranger that sojourneth among.”


The month is called Tishri.

“It’s a time of reflection, when we really can consider the year that was,” Rabbi Richard Steinberg explained to us; he’s senior rabbi at Congregation Shir Ha-Ma’alot in Irvine. “It’s a time when we learn the lessons of the year that was, so we can improve for the year to come.”


According to the Shengold Jewish Encyclopedia, this Day of Atonement is a time of fasting and asking forgiveness. It explains, “Because the rituals of repentance can absolve one only of sins committed against God and His law, the eve of the holiday is the appropriate time for asking the forgiveness of those whom one has offended. … A single shofar blast and the words ‘Next year in Jerusalem!’ terminate the fast.” Traditionally, a shofar is a ram’s horn.


All humans come short of their aims and potential.

So, although Yom Kippur has a special and holy meaning for Jews, those of other religions, or no religion, can gain perspective on their own lives by taking its message to heart.


All of us hurt others, or fail in what we ought to do.

In the secular self-help movement, people are encouraged to “put the past behind” them and move on, to start a new life. To err is human; so, too, is to begin again.


But on Yom Kippur, the religious element also …read more

Source:: East Bay – Entertainment


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