Friday, September 29, 2017
Consequently, Michaelmas (pronounced "mikk-el-mes") was one of the great public holidays and religious feasts of early and medieval Europe. Saint Michael's parades, Michael's fairs, Michael's Plays, etc. would in many places constitute the climax of autumn harvest celebrations. Michaelmas also coincided with the "quarter days" in Northern Europe, one of the four times in the year when free men would sit in court, make laws, and pay rents.
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is the last day to atone our sins of the Ten Days of Repentance, which start on the New Year (Rosh Hashanah). This is a fast mentioned in the Bible and the punishment mentioned for not keeping this fast is excommunication. Jews seek to 'purify their souls' on this day, by abstaining from common pleasures. Yom Kippur is celebrated by most all Jewish denominations. It is a fast day from the eve until the next day nightfall (twenty five hours). No food or drink is permissible. It is a day on which Jews 'afflict the soul', which includes wearing only non-leather shoes, not combing one's hair and no marital relations. For many Orthodox Jews, most of Yom Kippur is spent in prayer in the Synagogue. Five prayer services are held (as opposed to the normal three daily prayers).
Yom Kippur Facts
May this long day of fasting and self-denial
inspire acts of creativity, generosity, and joy.
May we go from strength to strength.
Yes, throughout the coming year and beyond, may it be our bodies that feed the hungry, comfort the bereaved, clothe the naked, and bring justice and humanity to the places they are needed most.