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http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/cheat-sheet-yom-kippur/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=pbsofficial&utm_campaign=newshour

Your holiday cheat sheet to Yom Kippur

BY WENDY THOMAS RUSSELL September 22, 2015 at 12:48 PM EDT

... Excerpt ...

Coolest thing about Yom Kippur: During their ever-so-long day of synagogue services, participants take part in a “group confession.” They confess to being aggressive, slanderous, acting callously, and a number of other things — usually involving behaving badly toward others in speech or deed. The cool thing is that the sins are confessed in the plural — “we” have done this, “we” have done that — emphasizing “communal responsibility for sins.” Now, I don’t personally believe in “sins” AT ALL. But it does make sense that if more of us could adopt even a little of this attitude of communal responsibility, then “we” might be better off — at the very least, more compassionate — as people, as neighbors and as human beings.

Conveying meaning to kids: Yom Kippur is about saying you’re sorry. And that’s a skill kids need to know! I suggest taking a bit of time as a family to think of three things you are sorry for — big things, tiny things, it doesn’t matter. And then talk about the importance of saying you’re sorry when you hurt people’s feelings. “Sorry” is such a small word, and yet it’s one of the most powerful words we can say. Think of all the little hurts you’ve suffered and carried around with you that could have been completely wiped away had the offending person simply said “I’m sorry.” You might also check out “Martha doesn’t say sorry!” a children’s book by Samantha Berger. And don’t forget “Celebrate: A Book of Jewish Holidays” by Judi Gross and Bari Weissman.

Appropriate greeting: “Have an easy fast.” (“Happy Yom Kippur” is not considered appropriate, as Yom Kippur is not a “happy” holiday.)

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