We are at the time of the year called The Days of Awe. The Jewish nation celebrates their highest holy days. Rosh Hashanah Is the celebration of the new year. According to the Jewish calendar it is now the year 5773. These holy days continue for ten days and end with Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement and ends the new year celebration. What is so amazing about the Day of Atonement is that sins are personal but also communal.
The Yom Kippur eve service begins with Kol Nidre prayer. It is known as a formula to release Jews from foolish vows. Historically, it has released Jews from vows to worship in another way than how they have worshiped G-d for millenia. The Spanish Inquisition is one of these times.
In Judiasm, sins are more than the Ten Commandments and encompass a lack of compassion, good works, community involvement.
“O G-d, forgive our rich nation where small babies die of cold quite legally,
O G-d, forgive our rich nation where small children suffer from hunger quite legally,
O G-d, forgive our rich nation where toddlers and school children die from guns sold quite legally,
O G-d, forgive our rich nation that lets children be the poorest group of citizens quite legally,
O G-d, forgive our rich nation that lets the rich continue to get more at the expense of the poor quite legally,
O G-d, forgive our rich nation which thinks security rests in missiles rather than in mothers, and in bombs rather than in babies,
O G-d,forgive our rich nation for not giving You sufficient thanks by giving to others their daily bread.
O G-d, help us never to confuse what is quite legal with what is just and right in your sight.
—-Marian Wright Edelman
Sim Shalom—A Prayer for Peace
Let us live in peace, G-d,
Let children live in peace, in homes free from brutality and abuse.
Let them go to school in peace, free from violence and fear.
Let them play in peace, G-d, in safe parks and safe neighborhoods; watch over them.
Let husbands and wives love in peace, in marriages free from cruelty.
Let men and women go to work in peace, with no fears of terror or bloodshed.
Let us travel in peace; protect us, G-d, in the air, on the seas, along whatever road we take.
Let nations dwell together in peace, without the threat of war hovering over them.
Help us, G-d. Teach all people of all races and faiths, in all the countries all over the world to believe that the peace that seems so far off is in fact within our reach.
Let us all live in peace, O G-d. And let us say, Amen
—–Rabbi Naomi Levy
As the day progresses, names are asked to be added to the Book of Life for another year. There is a feeling of the closing of the Gates of Heaven. The last blast of the Shofar is heard.
” The sun goes down, the shadows rise,
The day of G-d is near its close.
.Lord, crown our work before the night:
At eventide let there be light.”
May the New Year be sweet for all Jews everywhere in the world. Shalom to all people in the world.