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Elul Series

HaKarat HaTov – Recognizing the Good

Posted on September 26, 2017 by Rabbi Andrea Goldstein

N’ilah is the final service of Yom Kippur. It takes place close to when the sun is setting, after a long day of fasting and spiritual work. It is a service designed to help us walk out of the sanctuary confident in our ability to keep the promises we have made and affect the changes Continue Reading »

Neilah: For those who struggle with prayer

Posted on September 24, 2017 by Rabbi Jim Bennett

“Neilah? What’s that?” I know, many Jews have long believed that the closing service on the day of Yom Kippur is the Yizkor, or memorial service, after which it is traditional for Jews to leave the synagogue, to beat the traffic, and go to an early break the fast.  The truth, of course, could not Continue Reading »

Study Texts for Yom Kippur Morning

Posted on September 22, 2017 by Rabbi Jonah Zinn

Repentance and forgiveness have deep roots in the Jewish literary tradition. Studying these sacred texts deepens our understanding of the essence of Yom Kippur and helps facilitate our own process of teshuva. Mishkan Hanefesh provides a range of texts for such study as part of the Yom Kippur morning service. These texts are arranged chronologically, Continue Reading »

Do Jews Have Confession?

Posted on September 17, 2017 by Rabbi Andrea Goldstein

Yes, we do.  Confessional prayers (in Hebrew, vidui) are part of the Jewish process of atonement.  Vidui prayers are traditionally recited each night as part of the bedtime Shema. There is also a deathbed confession and a service of confessional prayers that we say on Yom Kippur. On Yom Kippur we recite the vidui prayers Continue Reading »

Kol Nidrei & Forgiveness

Posted on September 14, 2017 by Rabbi Jonah Zinn

I have fond memories of the Kol Nidrie of my childhood. I recall it as a service of unparalleled spectacle. The entire community was there, all packing into the sanctuary dressed for the holiday. As the ark was opened, the Congregation would rise together with a sense of solemn responsibility. We remained standing for what Continue Reading »

Tallit on Yom Kippur

Posted on September 12, 2017 by Rabbi Jim Bennett

Upon entering a traditional synagogue on the evening of Yom Kippur, the solemn night of Kol Nidre, the haunting prayer of annulment of vows and forgiveness, one might be struck by something unusual. Unlike every other night of the Jewish year, when hardly a single tallit (prayer shawl) is seen in a traditional shul, Yom Continue Reading »

A New Mourner’s Kaddish

Posted on September 10, 2017 by Rabbi Andrea Goldstein

Throughout the course of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we will join together in Kaddish Yatom (the Mourner’s Kaddish prayer) numerous times. This prayer is said as we call to mind loved ones who have passed away, members of our families and community whom we miss. The last line of the Mourner’s Kaddish reads: Oseh Continue Reading »

T’filat HaLev: Prayers of the Heart

Posted on September 7, 2017 by Rabbi Jonah Zinn

There is a story of a young boy who lived near the forest. Every day he would wander into the woods by himself. Over time his father became concerned for his safety. After all, the forest could be a dangerous place. So he asked the boy what he was doing in the woods. “I go Continue Reading »

Sounding of the Shofar

Posted on September 5, 2017 by Rabbi Jim Bennett

Ever since I was a little boy, I have loved the sound of the shofar. When I was a young teen preparing to become a Bar Mitzvah, my grandparents gave me the gift of a shofar; that small, black and white ram’s horn still sits on my shelf in a place of honor. Not only Continue Reading »

The Holiness of the Day: Chosenness

Posted on September 3, 2017 by Rabbi Jim Bennett

One of the most difficult Jewish ideas for many of us who seek Jewish meaning is the idea of the “chosen people.” Were we chosen, or are we choosing? Does this idea of being chosen mean that we have been singled out, or is it simply a way to identify our unique destiny, different from Continue Reading »

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