Home > Life, Really?, Spirituality/Religion > Day of Atonement

Day of Atonement

September 28, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

sure1Today is Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year for religious Jews. It is the big finale of the High Holy Days and is observed by a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer.

I can report this only because I Googled it. In my search, I realized how incredibly ignorant I am about Judaism.

I say this with some dismay because when I was a little tyke, I lived in a predominantly Jewish area on Long Island, NY, so many of my elementary school classmates were Jewish.

One of my first memories of Judaism was that most of my classmates got to miss school on the High Holy Days while three or four of us attended class and got to do “independent study”. Needless to say, I was resentful.

Then came Hannukah and the eight days of presents my friends would show up with at school. With eight kids in my family, I was lucky to get one….ON Christmas day.

So here I am, some 30-40 years later realizing that I’ve never really taken the time to learn about Judaism. Heck, I’ve barely tried to learn about Christianity, so I guess that’s not saying much. But as I peeked around on the Google site, I realized I really know BUPKIS about anything Hebrew!

I do know that it is bad form for a non-Jew to display a menorah during the holidays (those other days around the Christian celebration of You-Know-Who’s birth), but I am baffled about how we are supposed to acknowledge (or not) the High Holy Days.

So if I say that this is my Day of Atonement to my Jewish friends for not having taken the time to understand the significance of this day to them, I hope I am not stepping on any toes.

Shalom, and have an easy fast….

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