High holiday

Yom Kippur Chicken-Swinging Ritual Spurs Not One, But Two Lawsuits

09/21/2015 - 20:00

Kapparot, the pre-Yom Kippur folk custom of swinging a chicken around one’s head as a way of purging sin, is one of those Jewish practices that doesn’t always, ahem, dovetail with 21st-century mores.

A Hasidic man expressing his views to an anti-kapparot activist in Brooklyn, New York, Sept. 17, 2015. JTA

The Road Back Home

Modern and classic works offer roadmaps for the path of spiritual return.
Special to The Jewish Week
08/30/2010 - 20:00

Finding a theme for the newest YouTube video of the National Jewish Outreach Program (NJOP), “Soul Bigger,” should have been easy — the topic was Rosh HaShanah/Yom Kippur. But when the first version of the lyrics came out, we questioned whether the repeating motif of repentance sounded too much like a church revival meeting. However, we realized that teshuvah (repentance in Hebrew) is one of the most beautiful and spiritual concepts in Judaism, far more so than any fire-and-brimstone idea that the word “repent” may conjure up.

A Holocaust survivor discusses every human’s power of choice in this book about repentance.
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