Posts Tagged: High Holy Days

First (Probably) Annual Rosh HaShanah Sermon Round-Up



What did Reform rabbis talk to their congregations about this Rosh HaShanah? Based on my totally non-scientific survey, Israel was far and away the most popular topic. (Read on for links to sermons by rabbis Block, Bob, Davidson, Gropper, Gurvis, A. Hirsch, Kipnes, Kaufman, Ottenstein, and Prosnit.) That is true many years, and given the […]

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Eight Ways Your Congregation Can Be More Welcoming for the High Holidays



The High Holidays are a special time in the Jewish calendar, a time when many unaffiliated Jews (those who are not members of a congregation) may feel the need to connect to the broader Jewish community. Even if they don’t attend synagogue throughout the year, the High Holidays may inspire these individuals and their families […]

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10 Years of Ten Minutes of Torah

The Music of N’ilah – Part Two



By Cantor Barbara R. Finn Last week, in my discussion of the beginnings of the N’ilah service, I reflected upon the contemplative nature of the concluding service for Yom Kippur. The music of the actual conclusion imparts additional urgency in our pleas for forgiveness as the “gates are closing.” There are many interpretations of when […]

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10 Years of Ten Minutes of Torah

The Music of N’ilah – Part One



By Cantor Barbara R. Finn Yom Kippur is bookended by music and liturgy that speak to us on an emotional level.  We often cannot explain it; it is simple yet powerfully spiritual, reaching into our souls with a fervor that would leave us empty were we to miss those elements of the service. In her […]

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10 Years of Ten Minutes of Torah

The Gates are Closing, and God’s Hand is Outstretched



By Rabbi Edwin Goldberg The N’ilah service on late Yom Kippur afternoon is notable for its image of the Gates of Repentance closing their doors.  At this late and hungry hour, for the final time during the Day of Atonement, we are summoned to repentance.  The fact that many Sages argue we can actually delay […]

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10 Years of Ten Minutes of Torah

N’ilah: The Concluding Service on Yom Kippur



By Rabbi Richard Sarason Yom Kippur is the only day in the traditional Jewish liturgical year to have five services: in addition to the usual four shared with Shabbatot, Festivals, and Rosh Hashanah (evening, morning, Musaf, and afternoon1), Yom Kippur has a concluding service called N’ilah (literally, “locking”). This name refers to the time of […]

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10 Years of Ten Minutes of Torah

The Music of Yizkor



By Cantor Penny Kessler Eighteen years ago, when I first led Yizkor on Yom Kippur at my current synagogue, I admit to having been startled by an exodus from the pews. Our congregation recites Yizkor immediately after the Torah service, before the scrolls are returned to the ark and right before musaf (a supplemental service […]

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10 Years of Ten Minutes of Torah

Yizkor



By Rabbi Edwin Goldberg When I was growing up, the Yom Kippur afternoon Yizkor (remembrance) service was a very big deal.  In fact, at Temple B’nai Jehudah in Kansas City, the N’ilah (concluding) service would be held before Yizkor, except that, as we were about to hear the final shofar blast, we would then turn […]

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10 Years of Ten Minutes of Torah

Yom Kippur Yizkor Service



By Rabbi Richard Sarason On Yom Kippur, Yizkor memorial prayers are recited for our deceased relatives as well as for the martyrs of the Jewish people (in our own day, particularly for those who died in the Holocaust). This is an old custom, going back to the time of the Crusades in the Rhineland (11th-12th centuries). […]

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10 Years of Ten Minutes of Torah

Mincha for the New Machzor: Good Habits Replacing Bad Habits



By Edwin Goldberg The afternoon service – a tradition not usually observed in Reform Judaism – is an important part of Yom Kippur observance for Reform Jews. Not only does it help fill the time between the morning and break-the-fast; it also offers yet another opportunity for reflection and repentance. The editors of the upcoming machzor, […]

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10 Years of Ten Minutes of Torah

Eileh Ezkerah



By Rabbi Edwin Goldberg Eileh Azkara (These I Remember) is the lament that recounts the martyrdom of ten rabbis during the Roman brutality of 2000 years ago.  Their story is told twice a year, on Tisha B’av and Yom Kippur.  A key element of the telling is that these sages gave their lives, often being subjected […]

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Eileh Ezkerah: Memorializing Jewish Martyrs on Yom Kippur



By Rabbi Richard Sarason Memorialization of deceased relatives and of Jewish martyrs has figured in the liturgical observances of Yom Kippur since the massacre of approximately 8,000 Rhineland Jews at the time of the First Crusade (1096). Indeed, many of the Jewish mourning customs that have continued down to our own day originated in that […]

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The Music of Seder Ha’avodah



By Cantor Judith Ovadia The Avodah service of Yom Kippur (Seder Ha’Avodah) challenges us as Reform Jews. It depicts an ancient, archaic rite that is anathema to our modern practice, with elements that likely offend our sensibilities. Without close examination it offers little opportunity to enrich our experience of the holy on Yom Kippur. The architects of Reform […]

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Seder Ha-Avodah



By Rabbi Edwin Goldberg In the traditional machzor, the Seder Ha-Avodah (literally “Service of the Sacrificial Cult”) occurs on Yom Kippur during the musaf (additional) service. In Gates of Repentance, the Reform machzor published in 1978, there is no musaf service itself, but the Seder Ha-Avodah is featured in the afternoon service for Yom Kippur. […]

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