The New Shul

Yom Kippur

In the parashah for the morning of Yom Kippur, we read about the service of the Kohen Gadol, the High Priest, in the ancient Temple. On Yom Kippur, and only on that day, the Kohen Gadol would enter the Holy of Holies, the most sacred place in the Temple. Before he did so, he would take off the magnificent garments that he normally wore and change into plain white garments. Ever since, it has been a tradition for Jews to wear white on Yom Kippur. It is also a tradition to wear shoes that are not made of leather, because leather shoes represented luxury in the ancient world.

The challenge of facing God on Yom Kippur is a daunting one. We have so little to show for ourselves, so little credit that we can claim. What we learn from the Kohen Gadol is that, when we approach God, we do not need to justify ourselves. It is far better to shed any pretense, to approach God in pure simplicity, as the Kohen Gadol shed his golden robe and wore a simple white one.

During the year our lives grow increasingly complex, and the ways in which we rationalize our lives — our justifications and excuses — grow correspondingly complex. Yom Kippur is a time to strip away all of the complexity, to return to God not with elaborate explanations, but simply with an open heart. May this Yom Kippur be a time of renewal for all of us.

  • The New Shul’s service for the eve of Yom Kippur begins on Friday, October 3 at 5:45 pm. On the morning of Yom Kippur, Saturday October 4, we begin at 8:15 am. The afternoon service begins at 3:45. We will blow the shofar to end the fast at 6:45 pm. All are welcome to stay for a break-fast afterwards.Complete information on our Yom Kippur services is available here.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am and Wednesday mornings at 7 am.
  • Sukkot begins on Wednesday evening, October 8. Our services for the first two days of Sukkot, Thursday and Friday October 9 and 10, begin at 9 am.
  • Our service for Sh’mini Atzeret, Thursday October 16, begins at 9 am. The service will include Yizkor, the memorial prayer. Hakafot and Dancing for the eve of Simhat Torah, Thursday evening October 16, begin at 7 pm. Our service for the morning of Simhat Torah, Friday October 17, begins at 9 am.
  • Please note that there will be no e-bulletin next week or the week after, because of the holidays. The next bulletin will be sent on Thursdsay October 23. Services for the Shabbat of Sukkot, October 10-11, and Shabbat B’reisheet, October 17-18, are on Friday evening at 6 pm and Saturday morning at 9 am, as always.
  • The New Shul is collecting food donations for “Just Three Things,” to help young adults who have aged out of the foster care system. Please bring packaged items that are either ready-to-eat or require only microwave preparation. Contact us to arrange a drop-off time.