High Holidays

Area rabbis reflect on meaning of Rosh Hashanah


In anticipation of Rosh Hashanah, four prominent New Orleans area rabbis discussed their thoughts about the holiday, noting in particular its unique relationship to personal change and time. Rosh Hashanah, which marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year, is celebrated on the...
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Apologies and non-apologies in the year of our Trump 577


WASHINGTON (JTA) – There are apologies, there are non-apologies and there are apologies that never were.

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are approaching: We are in the season of repentance and its most apt expression, apologizing to our fellow women and men.

The Trump presidency presents special challenges to...
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How Jews around the world break the Yom Kippur fast


NEW YORK (JTA) — After weary and ravenous American Jews file out of Yom Kippur services, many return home to a similar meal each year to break the fast: typically bagels, lox and assorted accoutrements.

For some, it’s an anticipated and tasty tradition. But for others, it can...
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A Yom Kippur tradition in Amsterdam dates back to the invention of electricity


AMSTERDAM (JTA) — As one of Europe’s oldest and most impressive Jewish buildings, this city’s Portuguese Synagogue is known far and wide for its majestic beauty.

Built in 1675 for the descendants of Jews who fled religious persecution on the Iberian Peninsula, the Portuguese Synagogue today sees...
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For secular Israeli teens, the eve of Yom Kippur is a night of forbidden love


SHOHAM, Israel (JTA) — Ely Cohen topped off his all-white outfit with a few spritzes of cologne.

At sundown, the start of Yom Kippur, such “anointments” would no longer be kosher, and he wanted to be ready for the big night. He had just started dating a girl...
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Animal rights group sues police for not stopping Yom Kippur chicken-swinging ritual

(JTA) — An animal rights group filed a lawsuit against two Southern California police departments for not enforcing animal cruelty laws by halting a pre-Yom Kippur ritual.

The lawsuit filed this week naming both the Irvine and Los Angeles police departments is aimed at stopping Chabad of Irvine’s kapparot ceremony...
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Punk bands prove shofar isn’t just for the High Holidays


(JTA) — Schmekel — a transgender Jewish punk band based in Brooklyn — opened its 2011 album with “I’m Sorry, It’s Yom Kippur.” The song features lyrics like “I’m sorry I came out to you in such an awkward way” and “I’m sorry I said you have...
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Three Jewish movements opt out of High Holidays call with Trump, citing ‘xenophobia’

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Three streams of American Judaism will not participate in the traditional annual pre-High Holidays call with the president, saying Donald Trump has “given succor to those who advocate anti-Semitism, racism, and xenophobia.”

“We have concluded that President Trump’s statements during and after the tragic events in Charlottesville...
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Kapparot can continue in NY, appeals court rules

(JTA) — The pre-Yom Kippur ritual of kapparot can continue in New York, a New York appeals court found.

The Appellate Division First Department in Manhattan on Tuesday upheld a lower court decision that declined to block the pre-Yom Kippur slaughter of chickens in 2015, when the Alliance to End...
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On Succot, use King Solomon’s wisdom to endure the election season


(JTA) — Building up to Succot, with its temporary, shaky succah, it’s easy to forget that the holiday comes with something more substantial: its own book, Ecclesiastes — Kohelet in Hebrew — which is read during the festival and gives us a solid sampling of earthly...
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