High Holidays

  • Sun-Times: Synagogues in Chicago grapple with High Holiday seat prices

    Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg has a piece today about the catch-22 that synagogues find themselves in annually this time of year. The High Holidays are here and synagogues often look to cash in by selling high-priced seats for their services, as most synagogues see more than a 60 percent increase in attendance at least… More ▸

  • Why a chicken?

    Ben Harris filed a report on the feud between animal-rights activists and Chabad-Lubavitch Chasidim over kapparos. Here’s his interview with Rabbi Shea Hecht about why the pre-High Holiday ritual must performed with a chicken. Audio sound funny? Upgrade your Flash player. To subscribe to JTA’s Behind the News podcast, click here. More ▸

  • A few thoughts for Yom Kippur

    Some 63 percent of Israeli Jews plan to fast on Yom Kippur, according to a survey published in Ynet. If fasting merely makes us think about food, doesn’t this detract from the spiritual aspect of the day? Chabad offers an answer. There is no more fitting day than Yom Kippur to ask what is the… More ▸

  • Preparing for Yom Kippur

    As society becomes fragmented and increasingly frenetic, there is more value than ever in the spiritual audit Yom Kippur provides, write Zaki Cooper and Michael Harris in the U.K. Guardian. Slate unpacks Kol Nidre – that prayer used by everyone from Neil Diamond to Beethoven, and by anti-Semites as evidence that Jews are duplicitous and… More ▸

  • The day Israel has no cars

    For thoroughly secular Israelis, Yom Kippur is not so much a day of atonement as it is a national car-free day. Even in secular Tel Aviv, cars are parked for the holiday and the streets fall silent – of engine noise, that is. On Yom Kippur in Tel Aviv, and elsewhere around Israel, you can… More ▸