G’MAR CHATIMA TOVAH (May you be sealed for good [in the Book of Life])
From PSALM 27 (Robert Alter translation)
13.If I but trust to see the [Eternal One’s] goodness,
in the land of the living –
14.Hope for the [Eternal One]!
Let your heart be firm and bold,
and hope for the [Eternal One].
From ReformJudaism.org https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/yom-kippur
Yom Kippur יוֹם כִּיפּוּר
Deuteronomy 29:9–14, 30:11–20 (Morning) and Leviticus 19:1-4, 9-18, 32-37 (Afternoon)
Yom Kippur morning (a selection from Parashat Nitzavim Deuteronomy 29-9-14; 30-1-20): Moses addresses the assembled people, reminding them that each of them is a member of the covenant. God’s instructions are neither too difficult to learn nor too cumbersome to follow. Regardless of our profession and roles in the community, the Torah belongs to all of us. Finally, we are exhorted to “choose life,” to love God, to walk in God’s ways, and to keep God’s commandments. By doing so, we open our hearts to God and to each other.
Yom Kippur afternoon (a selection from Parashat K’doshim Leviticus 19-18, 32-37 or Genesis 50:14-26 and Leviticus 16:29-34): In the climactic chapter of the Book of Leviticus, we read that each of us can be holy. Each of us has the capacity to bring holiness into our lives and into the lives of those around us. Every act, great or small, can bring us closer to the sacred. We are instructed to leave something from our fields for the poor and for the stranger. We are told, “You shall not insult the deaf, or place a stumbling block before the blind.” We are reminded that we were once strangers in the Land of Egypt and so we must love the stranger. The way to a life of holiness is by sanctifying each moment of our lives.
Isaiah 57:14–58:14 is the traditional Haftarah for the morning Torah reading. In the Reform Mishkan Hanefesh Machzor for the Days of Awe, the Haftarah for the morning Torah reading focuses on Isaiah 58:1–14. On page 264 it states:
“The haftarah (Isaiah 58) – a prophetic passage that is a later critique of the biblically prescribed observance of Yom Kippur (Leviticus 16 and 23) – comes from Second Isaiah, who both comforted and confronted his people. Dejected and disoriented, the people wonder why their performance of required ritual seems ineffective. They ask: ‘Why did we fast, and You do not see it?’ The prophet preaches the hollowness of routinized self-affliction and fasting in the absence of a just society and righteous acts. God’s question (as posed by the prophet) ‘Is not this the fast I desire?’ prompts us to make our fast meaningful by sharing our bread with the hungry, freeing the oppressed, and giving shelter to the homeless.”
“Why, then, do we read the Book of Jonah on Yom Kippur? Because, despite its farcical elements, it eloquently conveys themes appropriate to the holiest day of the year: universalism – the intrinsic worth of all human beings; our responsibility for one another; God’s compassionate care for all living things; the power of t’shuvah (repentance); and the human capacity for change.”
Regarding the verses from Micah, Mishkan Hanefesh, the Reform Machzor for Yom Kippur, says on p.350:
“IS THERE ANOTHER GOD LIKE YOU מֵי-אֶל כָּמוֹךָ. The Rabbinic sages appended these verses from the prophet Micah to the end of the Yom Kippur haftarah to reinforce the message of God’s mercy and forgiveness. The phrase ‘You will cast (v’tashlich) all our sins into the depths of the sea’ (verse 19) links Micah’s words to the prayer Jonah utters in the belly of the fish (2:4): ‘Into the depths You cast me, into the heart of the sea.’ By juxtaposing the words of these two prophets, our Sages highlight a central lesson of the haftarah: Jonah’s spiritual journey ‘into the depths’ was necessary to teach him the fathomless depths of God’s compassion.”
MINHAG TEMPLE KOL HAMIDBAR
The local custom is to read Genesis 3:22-4:16 (The First Human Family and Its Struggles). About this alternative Torah reading, Mishkan Hanefesh, the Reform Machzor for Yom Kippur, p.264, says:
“Genesis 3-4 sets forth the Bible’s story of primordial humankind, which chronicles the move from solitude to family and community. Human beings disobey God and discover good and bad, resulting in loss of innocence and banishment from the paradise of Eden. The core of the reading is the story of Cain: tensions within the family, the human propensity for violence, the first murder (which suggests that all murder is fratricide), guilt, and the impulse to atone – apt themes for Yom Kippur. In the verses that follow this Torah reading (verses 17-18), Cain marries, fathers a son, and builds a city. Five generations of descendants are named; Cain’s life does not end with his crime.”
For the haftarah, Isaiah 58:1-14 is read. About this reading, Mishkan Hanefesh, the Reform Machzor for Yom Kippur, p.276, states:
“Lift up your voice like the shofar! (verse 1)
Isaiah is called by God to address the people with a powerful sermon that will resound throughout the community, as the ram’s horn summoned ancient Israel to battle or sacred assembly…. [T]he entire passage plays on the theme of crying out and lifting up the voice [Temple Kol Hamidbar]. How does one effectively communicate with the Holy One? God, it seems, understands and responds to the language of compassion.”
For the afternoon Torah Service, we read Leviticus 16:29-34 about “…the origin of the Day of Atonement and the essential elements of the holy day – self-denial, atonement, and purification.” From Mishkan Hanefesh the Reform Machzor for Yom Kippur, p.334.
The shorter Torah portion is followed by Jonah and Micah, the traditional Haftarah for the afternoon of Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur concludes the Yamim Nora’im (Days of Awe) that began on Rosh Hashanah. “B’rosh Hashanah yikatëvun; uvYom Tzom Kippur yëchatëmun – On Rosh Hashanah it is written; on the Fast of Yom Kippur it is sealed: …who will live and who will die…. Ut’shuvah, ut’filah, utz’dakah ma’avirin et ro’a hag’zërah – But penitence, prayer and good deeds can annul the severity of the decree.”
At various times during the High Holy Days we recite and address the Eternal One by the Thirteen Attributes of God: “Adonai, Adonai, Mighty, Compassionate and Gracious, Slow to anger, and Abundant in kindness and Truth, Preserver of kindness for thousands [of generations], Forgiver of iniquity, willful sin, and error, and Who will forgive.” These attributes of God, a reminder and plea for forgiveness and mercy, are recited three times during Ne’ilah (Concluding Service), as well.
Near the start of Ne’ilah, in the Sefardi and Mizrahi traditions, adopted by the Ashkenazi, we recite the piyyut/liturgical poem “Ël Nora Alilah” composed by Rabbi Moses Ibn Ezra (ca. 1055-1138). The refrain is, “Ël nora alilah, ham’tzëi lánu m’chilah, bish’at han’ilah.” (God of awe, grant us pardon in this hour, as Your gates are closed this night.)
The idea is that our chance for Atonement is ending and our writing in the Book of Life is about to be sealed. Remembering this and God’s attributes, as Reform Jews we are obliged to work at repairing the world (Tikkun ‘Olam) both within our community and the world at large. Being a part of, contributing to and connecting with Temple Kol Hamidbar helps to repair the world by helping us fulfill our three-fold purpose as a Beit Tefillah (House of Prayer), a Beit Midrash (House of Study) and a Beit Knesset (House of Community).
Finally, “[w]e move from tekiyah – the first call of the shofar – to tekiyah gelodah – the great, final blast – by joining our voices, demanding that fear and racism are replaced with understanding and righteousness.” From Holiday Calendar 2020-2021/5781 HIAS – Welcome the stranger. Protect the refugee. Jewish non-profit organization https://www.hias.org/
“Uchtov l’chaim tovim – inscribe all the people of Your covenant for a good life.”
HIGH HOLY DAYS
Temple Emanu-El in Tucson, AZ https://www.tetucson.org/
Temple Sinai in Oakland, CA [High Holy Days info] https://www.oaklandsinai-hhd.org/
The Union for Reform Judaism https://urj.org/
Our God and God of our mothers and fathers, grant that our prayers may reach You. Do not turn away from our pleas, for we are not so arrogant or stiff-necked as to say before You, Eternal our God and God of all ages, “we are perfect and have not sinned”; rather do we confess: “we have gone astray, we have sinned, we have transgressed.” Translation from the Temple Sinai High Holy Day Services prayer booklet.
We recite MI SHEBËRACH for the victims of brutality, abuse, fear, natural disasters, pandemics, violence, and war; for all those at home alone; for all those in need of physical, emotional, and mental healing. “R’fuah sh’lëmah” – a complete recovery!
We say KADDISH YATOM for those of our friends and families who have died and been buried this last week; those in the period of Sh’loshim (30 days since burial); those who have died in the last year; and those whose Yahrzeits/Anyos occur at this time; as well as the victims of brutality, disease, natural disasters, war and violence. We remember, too, those victims of the Shoah (Holocaust) who died at this time of year and have us to say “Kaddish” for them. “Zichronam liv’rachah” – May their memories be for blessing.
YOM KIPPUR BREAK-THE-FAST 6 PM [SUNSET 6:08 PM]
As previously announced, we will have a special Zoom gathering after Yom Kippur to Break-the-Fast tomorrow Monday, September 28, 2020, at 6 PM.
The Break-the-Fast online event will include sounding a Shofar recently donated in memory of Samuel Klein, a Havdalah ceremony, Motzi, and a chance to schmooze and nosh virtually with members of our community. Please have on hand a Challah, apples and honey or pomegranates, /or whatever else with which you wish to Break-the-Fast.
If available, all are highly encouraged to have ready a Havdalah set, and/or candle(s), wine/grape juice, and spices for the blessings. Havdalah is intended to require a person to use all five senses: feeling the cup, smelling the spices, seeing the flame of the candle, hearing the blessings and tasting the wine/grape juice.
“While spices are not traditionally included in the Havdalah ceremony that concludes Yom Kippur, many Reform Jews affirm Yom Kippur as Shabbat Shabbaton (the Sabbath of Sabbaths; Leviticus 16:31) – and therefore include spices, even when Yom Kippur falls on a weekday.” From the Reform “Mishkan Hanefesh/Machzor for the Days of Awe”, p.674.
To help make the High Holy Days as meaningful as possible, the Union for Reform Judaism and various congregations within the Reform Movement are providing free online services and resources during the High Holy Days to anyone interested in participating. As a result, Temple Kol Hamidbar is providing the following websites for individuals to access. Please visit their websites for their latest information.
Zoom continues being updated for security and performance features. Making sure you have the latest version of Zoom, please join us online this Monday evening:
The meeting id and passcode for our Break-the-Fast event are DIFFERENT from our regular Shazoom gatherings:
Topic: Yom Kippur Break the Fast
Time: Sep 28, 2020 06:00 PM Arizona
To join the Break-the-Fast Zoom Meeting click on the following link [you may need to copy it into your browser]:
Meeting ID: 850 4840 5580
TORAH STUDY AND SUKKOT SHAZOOM
Sukkot begins this coming Friday evening, October 2, 2020. We will meet for Torah Study and a Sukkot Shazoom. The Service will include the Sukkot inserts. We will wave the Lulav and Etrog near the end of the Service. Using the latest version of Zoom, please join us online Friday evening:
Topic: Torah Study
Time: Oct 2, 2020 06:00 PM Arizona
Shazoom – Erev Shabbat Service
Time: Oct 2, 2020 07:30 PM Arizona
To join the Torah Study and Sukkot Shazoom Meeting click on the following link [you may need to copy it into your browser]:
Or from Zoom go to join meeting and enter the following information:
Meeting ID: 725 1050 0854
Hint: The last character of the password is the number zero.
Or you may also access Erev Shabbat Services directly through the Temple Kol Hamidbar website at https://templekol.com/
Tzom Kal (an easy fast) and G’mar Tov (a good finishing)!