Jewish Brief September 11, 2013: 10 things you probably don’t know about Yom Kippur


10 things you probably don’t know about Yom Kippur

Source: Haaretz, 9-11-13

Detail from 'Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur'

Detail from ‘Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur,’ by Maurycy Gottlieb, 1878. Photo by Wikimedia Commons

You may go to synagogue every Yom Kippur and have fasted religiously since you were knee-high to a Torah scroll, but do you really know the history of this holiest of days?…READ MORE

Israel Political Brief August 20, 2013: Israel warns on High Holidays travel



Israel warns on High Holidays travel

Source: JTA, 8-20-13

The Israeli government has advised Israelis and all Jews to avoid travel to several countries, including Egypt and Turkey, during the High Holidays, a popular time for leisure travel….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief September 14, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Rosh Hoshanah Greeting



President Obama’s Rosh Hoshanah Greeting

Source: WH, 9-13-12

As we look forward to the beginning of the Jewish High Holidays Sunday night, I want to extend my warmest wishes to all those celebrating the New Year.

This is a joyful time for millions of people around the world. But Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are also opportunities for reflection. They represent a chance to take stock of our lives and look forward to the coming year with clear eyes and renewed purpose.

In that spirit, the Jewish Tradition teaches us that one of the most important duties we have during this period is the act of reconciliation. We’re called to seek each other out and make amends for those moments when we may not have lived up to our values as well as we should.

At a time when our public discourse can too often seem harsh; when society too often focuses on what divides us instead of what unites us; I hope that Americans of all faiths can take this opportunity to reach out to those who are less fortunate; to be tolerant of our neighbors; and to recognize ourselves in one another. And as a nation, let us be mindful of those who are suffering, and renew the unbreakable bond we share with our friends and allies – including the State of Israel.

In that spirit, Michelle and I wish you and your families a sweet year full of health, happiness, and peace. L’Shana Tovah.

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