Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

11 October 2016. Yom Kippur Begins at Sundown Tonight



Yom Kippur, one of the holiest days in the Jewish Year, begins tonight at sundown. If your Jewish friends need a hand today… give it! Run an errand, watch the kids, walk the dog… whatever that they might need on this hectic day for them. It’s what decent people do… tomorrow, give ’em the space to honour their day of repentance. That’s the best gift that you can give them.



Saturday, 8 October 2011

Rav Lazar Asked Jews to Prepare Themselves Adequately for Yom Kippur… the Day of Atonement



Jews are preparing to observe Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, a time for repentance, and the remission of sins. On Friday evening, at the Moscow Jewish Community Centre, Jewish believers will meet for services, where a famous cantor from New York, Shneur Zalman Baumgarten, shall lead the ceremony.

“On this day, God finally determines the fate of everyone for the coming year; He forgives our sins, and seals us in the Book of Life. Throughout the Days of Awe, we prayed to the Creator to show us mercy”, Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar said in his Yom Kippur message, which was quoted by his press office. He noted that the Jewish sages taught that there was a threefold way “to mitigate the Lord’s verdict”… repentance, prayer, and charity. Rav Lazar pointed up that “repentance” (in Hebrew, תשובה‎: teshuva) literally means, “return”. He wrote, “Simply put, repenting wrong actions and promising not to repeat them is only the beginning. Then, we must move on to the most important point… we must return to God and recover our true essence, because each of us is created in His image and likeness. When we make such a ‘return’, we’re transformed; it opens up within us our previously-hidden God-given true nature”. Rav Lazar said, “To proceed, believers must pray, because it’s a direct channel of communication with the Creator, and when we establish such a connection, we can return to the God-given fundamentals, and embody our repentance in action, in good works“. He hoped that Jewish believers would fulfil all three components of the Atonement, that it wouldn’t only provide them with “a good and sweet new year, a good testimony, and a place in the Book of Life, but that it would also hasten the redemption of all things, the coming of the Messiah”.

Yom Kippur ends the ten days of repentance in the month of Tishrei that seals the ultimate fate of each person in the coming year (the first day is Rosh ha-Shana (Rosh Hashanah), Jewish New Year). The Bible describes it as a Day of Atonement before God; people should rest from work and not “trouble their souls”. However, Yom Kippur isn’t considered a day of sorrow and grief.

7 October 2011



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