Monday, October 6, 2008

The Sabbath of Sabbaths: Yom Kippur

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Our village synagogue. Women have to sit upstairs, behind a curtain.
Shofarot on sale in Jerusalem's Ben-Yehuda Street pedestrian mall. Only $10 for a shofar, a ram's horn.
Jews have the religious obligation not to blow the shofar but rather to HEAR the shofar on Yom Kippur. Many of us who hardly ever set foot in a synagogue during the year will be sitting (or more often, standing) in our neighborhood synagogue this Wednesday evening and Thursday day for the on-going prayers.
Yom Kippur is a day of fasting. No food or drink from late Wednesday afternoon until 5:50 p.m. Thursday (Jerusalem time). It is a solemn day of communal prayer for forgiveness and atonement.

Israel virtually shuts down for the Day of Atonement. Even Ben-Gurion International Airport is closed. No one drives. An ambulance would be the only vehicle on the street. No TV, no radio.
Can you believe?--I will even be shutting down my computer.

9 comments:

Katney said...

See you after the High Holy Day!

JC said...

I would love to be there to observe it with you. Be blessed.

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

pretty incredible, especially in the times we are living, of 24/7 instant gratification

Dina said...

Katney, wait, I'm still here!

JC, thank you. Wish you could be here too. And the fast could be part of your diet.

Kiwi, at least 7 out of 10 Israelis observe the fast, i.e. many non religious ones included.
The other forbidden things on Yom Kippur: No wearing of leather shoes. No applying lotions. No bathing. No marital intimacy.
This is the rabbis' interpretation of the biblical commandment to "afflict your soul" on the Day of Atonement.

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

ok, the leather shoes bit sounds a little strange: plastic shoes exist now, but 5000 years ago... there's always the barefoot option, which is actually my favorite: i am barefoot right nearly every single moment I'm at home, even in the garden!

Dina said...

M.Kiwi, good question. We are talking less than 2000 years, but still, your point is valid. I dunno...
My sandals, for instance, are rubber soled. Usually on Yom Kippur you see people wearing their nice clothes together with gym shoes, which looks funny. I guess now Crocs would be "in."

You are brave to go in your garden barefoot! There is one young man in our village who goes everywhere barefoot, even on the rocks of the mountain paths.

Webradio said...

Hello Dina !
Thank You for this explain...
I'm a christian, so I don't know very well Your religion...
Thank Dina...

Dina said...

Thanks Webradio. Glad to share whatever little I know.

Reader Wil said...

A good idea to close everything and shut down the country.No TV nor radio... how wonderful!
Shabbat Shalom