Yom Kippur 2013

Our Jewish friends and neighbors celebrate Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, beginning this year at sundown on Friday, September 13 and ending at sundown Saturday, September 14.

This moving meditation is from Yom Kippur's Kol Nidre service and can be 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.

I'm very pleased to link to Alden Solovy's page, To Bend Light for his collection of prayers for Yom Kippur.

For everyone's moments of reflection and atonement, this beautiful setting of Kol Nidre for cello by Max Bruch will serve well. You might choose to listen to this music as background for reflecting on the prayer above or the prayers found on Alden's page.

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