Yom Kippur | Reconstructing Judaism
Yom Kippur

 

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, provides a day of intense self-scrutiny and self-affliction within which to undertake looking inward with the primary goals of atonement, forgiveness, and spiritual cleansing and renewal. The Mishna (Yoma 8.9) teaches that Yom Kippur allows us to atone for transgressions against God, but does not allow us to atone for transgressions against our fellow human beings unless we have first made peace with one another. The Jewish textual tradition evolved to emphasize the idea that by repairing ourselves and our relationships with others, we are doing our part to repair the larger world.1

  • 1. Adapted from A Guide to Jewish Practice, Volume 2—Shabbat and Holidays

Related Resources

Rabbi Alan LaPayover (RRC '02), recorded the prayers of the Reconstructionist liturgy for the High Holiday services. The sound files are available for listening and download from links on this page.

This file contains a helpful glossary of terms for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. It begins with a letter to parents suggesting themes to think about during the holiday season.

D'VAR TORAH
Leviticus 16:1-34; 18: 1-30

Yom Kippur is probably the most challenging holiday to explain meaningfully on a child's level. Rabbi Devorah Bartnoff, z"l, offers goals and techniques for teaching and experiencing Yom Kippur. 

D'VAR TORAH
Leviticus 16:1-34; 18: 1-30

Since Reconstructionist Judaism affirms a conception of God as a force, power or process — but not as a supernatural Being who can be addressed and can respond — what happens to the notion of sin? Rabbi Richard Hirsh argues that Reconstructionist theology makes it more, not less, important that we take on the responsibility for judgment, atonement, apology and repentance

This text study examines the vivid image of gates closing at the end of Yom Kippur.

Yom Kippur, Textual Sources
D'VAR TORAH
Leviticus 16:1-34; 18: 1-30

As a time to take responsibility for communal wrongs, Yom Kippur calls us to learn about and grapple with issues of race in America.

D'VAR TORAH
Leviticus 16:1-34; 18: 1-30

Kavvanah written for Yom Kippur services at the Lincoln Memorial, 2015. 

Yom Kippur, Ritual and Liturgy

In a piece for the Forward, Reconstructionist rabbi Michael Strassfeld argues that posting inflammatory comments on social media isn't just tacky. It's a sin. 

Ethics and Values, Yom Kippur
Subscribe to RSS - Yom Kippur