Yom Kippur Preparations

With Yom Kippur only 2 days away I thought I would suggest some things to do to make the day more meaningful for you.

BRING FOOD - No I don't mean pack a snack, but I do mean bring a can or box of non-perishable food with you to services on Friday evening or Shabbat morning. Thanks to our new Social Action Committee chair - Fran Weiss - that food will be delivered to the Olney Food Bank. By donating food we recognize that though it's our choice to fast, others in our community are hungry all the time. This will channel our fasting into helping others.

WEAR SNEAKERS - It's not about being comfortable it's about putting ourselves in a proper religious frame of mind. Traditionally, for centuries, fancy leather shoes have always been a symbol of luxury and wealth. That's not what we are supposed to be thinking about on Yom Kippur. On Yom Kippur the liturgy reminds us that we aren't masters of our fate or in control of our lives. We are supposed to acknowledge the fragile nature of our lives; to determine to lead a life of value; and to allow religious principles to guide us. What we wear on our feet is a concrete way of bringing that message home.

BRING SOMETHING TO READ - The service is quite long and in parts may be inaccessible due to the Hebrew or the content. We - Cantor Wendi and I - do our best to chant and explain the various prayers so that the liturgy becomes relevant, but there are parts where our minds frankly may wander. Consider bringing a Jewish book or article or two to help guide your thoughts and inspire you. Try this new book in paperback - historical fiction - by Mitchell James Kaplan titled By Fire By Water. It's about the converso (Jew forcibly converted to Catholicism) chancellor of King Ferdinand of Spain around 1492 and the life he leads. It's a quick read and sheds light on Jewish identity. The Kol Nidre prayer is said to have been written by conversos. You may also check out some websites and download material to bring with you. The Hillel website has great material as does the Reform Movement . (I'm sorry to say that the Conservative Movement website isn't so good.) Finally this website is a great one too.

The Kol Nidre service begins Friday Sept 17 at 6:45pm at Sherwood High School. On shabbat morning Sept 18 the service begins at 9 at Sherwood High School with yizkor at around 11:30; mincha will begin at 5:30 and the shofar will be blown at 7:55pm.

Wishing you a meaningful fast and a happy and healthy new year!