Yom Kippur

Finding the Forgiveness That Had Been So Hard for Me
Recently I realized that my problem was my understanding of what forgiveness is. In my mind, it was conflated with absolution or pardon.
5 Ways to Channel Negative Energy
Take every bit of oppression and suffering and elevate it, make it holy
Why do negative emotions generate so much more energy than positive ones?
5 Teachings to Make Your Yom Kippur More Joyful
There is much pain and suffering on micro and macro levels in the world today that if we are not mindful and do not understand the essence of the holiday, we could be easily disheartened.
For Kids, Repentance Repeats Itself Every Day
The radio stations had gotten fuzzy in a stretch of the road dotted with farmland and so to make conversation, I asked: “OK, everyone. What’s your favorite Jewish holiday and why?”
On Yom Kippur: Release Guilt, Forgive Yourself
Understanding that we are not defined by your mistakes is a good place to begin. Mistakes are not your identity. Mistakes are something that happens, not something you are.
‘Ich Bet Lekach’: Begging for Honey Cake
Growing up, Erev Yom Kippur was a busy day. As the day wore on and the rush began, there were two very important things to do—and they were done every single year, no matter what.
When I Want to Run Away From My Problems ...
Some problems can be fixed, and some problems can’t. Some problems have solutions, and some don’t. It’s not the problem that’s the problem. It’s how I look at and deal with the problem. It’s understanding that the difficulty is from G‑d,and it therefore has a purpose that’s sometimes beyond my comprehension, but somehow there to make me grow.
Acharei Mot
We all have layers that cover up the “real me.” There’s the image that we want to present to the world, the talents and traits we want others to recognize. And then there’s even the image that we want to project to ourselves, those layers that hide and distract from our core inner selves.
I Miss Missing Shul on Yom Kippur
What am I doing on Yom Kippur reading kiddy books? I ask myself. Is this what G‑d wants from me?
To Forgive Is Divine: 6 Steps to Reach True Forgiveness
Some people never ask for our forgiveness. They don’t show remorse, they don’t seem to care that they’ve hurt us, and they may even demean or belittle us for having been hurt. Why should we forgive them?
A Mother's Yom Kippur Survival Guide
Over the years, through trial and error and discussions with many mothers, I have come up with a number of techniques that make Yom Kippur with young children not only survivable, but a meaningful and spiritual experience.
The Yom Kippur Sandwich
Sometime mid-afternoon when you’re feeling a bit peckish, this “spiritual sandwich” is sure to infuse your Yom Kippur with deeper meaning.
Lessons From My Miscarriage: What I Learned About the Process of Teshuvah
It’s not about looking to find an answer to “Why did this happen to me?” But rather, “What can I learn from this? How can I grow from this? How can I use this to change?”
Asking Others for Money
A Yom Kippur Lesson
Here is where things are really upside down. We have this false illusion that when someone gives money to someone else, the giver is the big hero, the generous one, the amazing one. And that poor, pathetic receiver . . . should just be grateful that someone felt sorry enough for him to help . . .
Above the Rules
Yom Kippur
We have messed up, time and time again. We are too far. There is no hope . . . checkmate . . .
Those magic words . . .
How could someone say that to me? I thought. I took cotillion as a child. I took etiquette classes in college. I was a classy lady . . .
The Fifth Dimension
The unifying power of Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur holds within it the very essence of the universe and of who we are. It brings together space, time and soul in one indivisible point that paradoxically contains every detail of existence. Yom Kippur is the “fifth dimension” that courses through both the expanse of the universe and deep within us. By paying attention to the way the day itself works, we can gain insight into this transcendent dimension of creation . . .
A Day of Joy
Yom Kippur and True Forgiveness
Every minute my child is in "time-out" I look at the clock, waiting for the time to be up. To me, two minutes feels like four and five feels like ten...
The Butcher and the Bone
When not to say “I’m Sorry”
The road to reconciliation was closed and despite calls, a letter, more calls, going over there…well, other than a hello, or a sentence about nothing squeezed out of air, that was the last we spoke to each other...
Messages From My Burglar Alarm
What if I could install a toxic thought alarm in my head that had a similar progressive sequence? A negative thought about someone's behavior generates a beep. If I ignore that and then generalize it into a story I make up in my head about the motives, etc. of that person, that should then generate a call from the monitoring company...
My Exchange
Experiencing Kapparot
The process of kapparot is meant to disturb. I identify with the chicken when I say, “this is my exchange.” I am forced to question: Am I respecting life? What is life? Who am I? What am I? Is there wildness in me? Am I a person of the earth, the heaven, or both? Am I free truly to live?
Emergency Room Lessons
A Yom Kippur Story
This year, I did not hear a rabbi give his annual dramatic speech about the fragility of life, and about our total dependence on G-d's mercy for that life. This year, instead, a microscopic virus flattened me down to the ground, so that I lived that Yom Kippur sermon.
Love Means Really Having to Say You're Sorry
Even the best among us sometimes speak or act before we think, hurt those we love, and fail to live up to our own potential. If we can own up to our mistakes, however, we can deepen the relationships most important to us...
A Young Girl's Yom Kippur Under Nazi Rule
Holy Day
Slowly the shelter came to life. My mother got up and prepared breakfast—a few crackers with some jam we still had left. But neither my two sisters nor my mother touched the food . . .
My Pathway to Prayer
While my love for formal prayer keeps growing, I have continued my informal conversations with G‑d. And one day, I was struck by a contrast...
Being a Child Again
Experiencing Yom Kippur
Tips for an Easier Fast
Although the Jewish year is filled with wonderful holidays in abundance several times a year—six, to be precise—we fast. Some people find fasting quite arduous, so there are some pointers that can help ease the fast-related hunger pangs.
Top Ten Fasting Tips for the Pregnant Woman
Barring any specific medical conditions, some good planning and some practical coping techniques will allow most women in a low-risk pregnancy to manage a twenty-five hour fast without any complications to the pregnancy or risk to their babies...
Recipes for an Easier Fast
Foods for the meals before Yom Kippur
A selection of recipes traditionally served at the festive meals on the day before Yom Kippur, as well as a few new recipes which are high in protein, complex carbohydrates, and/or other nutrients that will help you get through the fast . . .
The Day Is Short
How many times do I push off asking for forgiveness? How many times does pride get in my way? What if time runs out and there is no more tomorrow? What is it about us that we think that we will live forever?
The Blame Game
The stress of the morning reached its crescendo, and I proceeded to lay down my royal flush of emotional cards in my epic battle to win the "blame game" with my husband...