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Yom Kippur Readings

Inspiration, Information and Contemplation

Edited by Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins

6 x 9, 368 pp, Hardcover, 978-1-58023-271-5

Also Available in Paperback

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A powerful collection of writings about Yom Kippur that will add spiritual depth and holiness to your experience of the Day of Atonement.
As Rosh Hashanah ends and you look ahead to Yom Kippur, what do you think about? The familiar melody of Kol Nidre? The long hours of fasting? The days of self-examination? You know that the Day of Atonement is the holiest on the Jewish calendar, but sometimes it just feels long, tiresome and devoid of personal meaning. The readings in this book are for anyone seeking a deeper level of personal reflection and spiritual intimacy—and a clearer understanding of just what makes Yom Kippur so holy.
Drawn from a variety of sources—ancient, medieval, modern, Jewish and non-Jewish—this selection of readings, prayers and insights explores the opportunities for inspiration and reflection inherent in the themes addressed on the Day of Atonement: sin, forgiveness, repentance, spiritual growth, and being at one with self, family, community and God. These readings enable you to enter into the spirit of Yom Kippur in a personal and powerful way while they uplift and inform. They will add to the benefits of your High Holy Day experience year after year.
“Share[s] wisdom and inspiration for the holiday.... Reflect[s] a great diversity of backgrounds and perspectives.
New York Jewish Week
“From Kol Nidre to N’eilah, from wearing a kittel to the Book of Jonah; and, from teachers and texts ranging from Art Green to Leo Tolstoy, from Merle Feld to Marge Piercy, from Arnold Eisen to Albert Einstein, from Heschel to Baeck, and from Midrash to (of course) Anonymous—they’re all there! Elkins gives us the complete Yom Kippur meditative experience. Smuggle it in with you along with (or instead of) your mahzor!”
Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, coauthor of Filling Words with Light: Hasidic and Mystical Reflections on Jewish Prayer and many other books on spirituality
“Outstanding ... highly recommended.... Makes an important point of discussion for both families and classes surveying Yom Kippur’s ongoing meaning and history.”
Midwest Book Review
“Prepares the heart and mind for prayer. In it are sermons in parables, insights in poetry, wisdom in tales and commentaries in anecdotes.”
Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis, author of Conscience: The Duty to Obey and the Duty to Disobey
“An excellent companion to the Yom Kippur mahzor ... and should be a welcome companion to the synagogue service.... Meaningful and inspirational readings can be found on any page.
Cleveland Jewish News
“If you want to spend Yom Kippur (or the months leading up to it) in the company of some of the best Jewish spiritual writers of our time, this is the book for you. Amidst the beautiful and wise passages collected here, you are sure to find something to open your heart.”
Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer,  coauthor of Judaism for Two: A Spiritual Guide for Strengthening & Celebrating Your Loving Relationship
“Invaluable.... Designed to inspire, inform, and nourish contemplation.
Spirituality & Health
“Full of wonderful material that will deepen the Yom Kippur experience for rabbis and their communities. An ever-flowing spring of thoughts and prayers to help us approach Yom Kippur with meaning, creativity, soulfulness and blessing.”
Rabbi Naomi Levy, spiritual leader of Nashuva and author of To Begin Again and Talking to God
“A timely collection of readings to give added meaning to the Yom Kippur prayers.... Will enhance our Yom Kippur worship regardless of whether we are confused by the rituals and prayers or know them well.
New Jersey Jewish News
“Like a spring that courses through the desert, there are life-giving waters here. Beneath the surface gleam scattered gems from great teachers, to nourish the spirit during the Days of Awe.”
Rabbi Rachel S. Mikva, editor of Broken Tablets: Restoring the Ten Commandments and Ourselves
“Inspirational, informative and thoughtful texts for Jews around the many themes associated with the holiest day of the Jewish year.
Union of Liberal & Progressive Synagogues Newsletter
“Those seeking meaning for living from Judaism will find this High Holy Day anthology of teachers and texts from every walk of Jewish life offers spiritual nourishment for every Jewish home.”
—Rabbi Goldie Milgram, author of Meaning & Mitzvah: Daily Practices for Reclaiming Judaism through Prayer, God, Torah, Hebrew, Mitzvot and Peoplehood
“Provocative…. Stressing in straightforward language the themes of Yom Kippur, this will be valuable to laymen who want to prepare for that day. The wide variety of impressive sources, ancient and mostly modern, confront us with what should be our serious concerns on that day (and on other days) in the framework of our lives.”
Rabbi Jules Harlow, editor and translator of Mahzor for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and author of Pray Tell: A Hadassah Guide to Jewish Prayer
“A complete experience that makes one want to read it instead of the mahzor! Every possible aspect of Yom Kippur is discussed.... A lovely gift of the season.
National Jewish Post & Opinion
“Filled with inspirational readings that are profound, and that will challenge and ignite the mind and heart alike…. Will deepen the High Holy Day experience for every reader.”
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author of Jewish Literacy and The Book of Jewish Values
“Offers something for everyone. Reading selections from this text throughout Yom Kippur can add to its spirituality and make it more meaningful.
Ottawa Jewish Bulletin


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