Yom Kippur: The Cycle Starts Up Again

Michael Siegel

Michael Siegel is an astronomer living in Pennsylvania. He is on Twitter, blogs at his own site, and has written a novel.

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9 Responses

  1. fillyjonk says:

    Thank you for this. Learning about others’ traditions helps me understand humanity better. I knew a little about Yom Kippur from having had (mostly fairly secular) Jewish friends, but I didn’t know all of the detail you went into.

    Perhaps as a culture – Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, “nothing,” other faiths….we do need to think more about repentance and amends, rather than pretending the bad things we did didn’t happen and moving on.Report

  2. JoeSal says:

    Alright now, you’ve been holding back on us. This is really good.

    I appreciate how you wrote it as a lived experience, in detail, and didn’t attempt to make a generic overview.Report

  3. LeeEsq says:

    The Talmud refers to Yom Kippur as the happiest day of the year. In true Jewish communal fashion, the prayers for forgiveness are collective rather than individualistic. We have sinned, not I have sinned. In really traditional congregations, you are supposed to wear all white and not any leather.

    Reform synagogues eliminate or change the mussaf service because the prayer is essentially reciting the sacrifice instructions found in the Torah. Since Reform Judaism officially does not long for the return of the Temple or the sacrifices it is seen as archaic. I have to admit that I’d be rather interested in being able to observe what Late Temple Judaism was like. The transition period when Rabbinic Judaism was emerging with the Pharisees but the Temple still stood and the sacrifices were considered important.Report

  4. Mike Schilling says:

    This is a lovely piece.Report

  5. North says:

    Beautiful and fascinating!Report

  6. Note: on Twitter, it was pointed out to my that Kol Nidre *annuls* vows rather than breaking them. It’s an important distinction so I’ve correct my sloppy wording.Report

  7. Zac Black says:

    I’m Jewish but my family is fairly secular and growing up we only celebrated Hanukkah and Passover, so I actually found this fairly educational. Thanks for writing it.Report

  8. Aaron David says:

    Like Zac, my family is very secular, the religious branch having decamped to Isreal back in the ’20s. This was quite nice, thank you.Report

  9. Thanks so much for writing this. My spouse and in-laws are Jewish, but because they don’t really observe, I haven’t learned much about the faith/tradition. (With due acknowledgment that as you say in your author’s note, you don’t speak for all Jewish persons’ experiences or for the entirety of the tradition itself.)Report