Yom Kippur 2009

Image: The Jewish Federation of San Antonio

On the Jewish calendar, the Days of Awe which began on Rosh Hoshanah come to a close with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. In 2009, Yom Kippur begins at sundown today, September 27, and is kept as a holy day through nightfall on September 28.

This video offers the sense and the sound of the seriousness of this day on the Jewish calendar:

The moving meditation below (H/T to Murph) is from Yom Kippur's Kol Nidre service found in Gates of Repentance, the Union prayerbook for the Days of Awe by Chaim Stern, Central Conference of American Rabbis.

Birth is a beginning
And death a destination.
And life is a journey:
From childhood to maturity
And youth to age;
From innocence to awareness
And ignorance to knowing;
From foolishness to discretion
And then, perhaps, to wisdom;
From weakness to strength
Or strength to weakness –
And, often, back again;
From health to sickness
And back, we pray, to health again;
From offense to forgiveness,
From loneliness to love,
From joy to gratitude,
From pain to compassion,
And grief to understanding –
From fear to faith;
From defeat to defeat to defeat –
Until, looking backward or ahead,
We see that victory lies
Not at some high place along the way,
But in having made the journey, stage by stage,
A sacred pilgrimage.
Birth is a beginning
And death a destination.
And life is a journey,
A sacred pilgrimage –
To life everlasting.

For our own moments of reflection and atonement, this beautiful setting of Kol Nidre for cello by Max Bruch serves well...



Please THINK before you write
and PRAY before you think!