V’al chet she-hatanu l’fanekha bil’shon ha-ra, “And for the sin we have committed before You through slander” — over the course of Yom Kippur we say these words over and over again as we recite the Viddui (Confessional) quietly to ourselves and then aloud communally. As we say...
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Reflections on my visit to a ‘minyan’ of L.A. synagogues during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
September 12, 2012 | 2:37 pm
September 12, 2012 | 2:32 pm
Few prayers are as well known to Jews as Ashamnu (“We have sinned ...”) and Al Chet (“For the sin ...”), the twin confessions of Yom Kippur. Belief in human sinfulness is more central to Judaism than we think. Sin may not be “original,” as it is in Christianity — inherited from...
November 4, 2011 | 8:36 am
October 1, 2008 | 11:15 pmIs it just me, or does Yom Kippur seem to arrive earlier and more frequently these days?
I feel like I've barely had time to recover from one when the next one's announced, and then I have to toughen up and refrain from saying things like "oh no, not again," in front of my kids,...
September 25, 2008 | 2:43 am
August 27, 2008 | 12:45 am
PETA anti-kapporot video
NEW YORK (JTA) -- For the second year, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has complained about the High Holy Days ritual of swinging a chicken over one's head, a sin-transference ceremony.
In a letter sent Monday to the New York agriculture...
September 15, 2005 | 8:00 pm
September 23, 2004 | 8:00 pm
Yom Kippur reminds me of the time I spent in couples counseling with a serious boyfriend. My boyfriend believed he could be cruel or invasive or dishonest, but as long as he copped to his "sins" once a week, he'd be absolved (especially if he used bogus touchy-feely phrases like "I'm...
March 25, 2004 | 7:00 pm
In the Wrong
In the third book of the Torah, Leviticus, we learn a lot about the Levites, who were the priests in the Tabernacle; we also learn about the different sacrifices for different types of sins. If you committed a sin on purpose, you brought one kind of sacrifice; if you did...
October 2, 2003 | 8:00 pm
Here we go again: the Yom Kippur confessional is upon us, our annual alphabetical recitation of our sins and transgressions, from ashamnu to ti'tanu, from avarice to xenophobia and zealotry. The list never changes; the question it poses, somewhat tediously, is whether we have...
March 14, 2002 | 7:00 pm
This week, we begin "Vayikra," the first book of Leviticus, the third book of the Torah. This section of the Torah is filled with many fascinating and important Torah concepts that we can relate to, including the laws of lashon hara (the prohibitions against speaking ill of others),...