CATHOLIC-JEWISH Women's DIALOGUE
September 14, 2020.
This month the Jewish community will be celebrating the High Holidays - the Days of Awe.
The ten days of the high holidays start with Rosh Hashanah (start of the New Year) and end with Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). One of the ongoing themes of the Days of Awe is the concept that God has books and God writes our names in the books, indicating who shall live and who shall die, who will have a good life and who will not. These books are inscribed on Rosh Hashanah. Our actions during the Days of Awe can alter God's decree. The actions that can change the decree are "Teshuvah, Tefilah, and Tzedakah" - Repentance, Prayer, Good Deeds, usually Charity. The idea of writing in books is the source of the common greeting during this time :May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year".
The Talmud maintains that Yom Kippur atones only between people and God. Therefore, it is common to seek reconciliation with people you may have wronged during the course of the year. To atone for sins against another person, you must seek reconciliation with that person, righting the wrongs you committed against them if possible. Traditionally, Jews will fast throughout Yom Kippur and attend synagogue for most of the day.
This year will be different form any other year. Services will be virtual. At the end of the Yom Kippur fasting there will be no "Break the Fast" with family and friends. But we will still gather around our computers and greet each other on Zoom.