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Ceremonies /
Yom Kippur
Our Book of Life 2

Candle Lighting

Ba-ruch ha-or ba-o-lam

Zo-hair ha-or b'a-dam

Ya-kar ha-or shel shalom

Blessed is the light in the universe

Radiant is the light within each person

Precious is the light of peace



Bracha al ha’nerot (Blessing for the Candles)

Baruch ata ha'adam,

Hamechapes ve'tar achar ha'or hanitzchi, achar ha'emet ve'ha'tzedek ve'ha'maor baolam ubivney adam acherim.

Baruch ata ha'adam hamadlik nitzotzot shel ahava, chemla venetian baolam


Blessed art thou man, who seeks for the eternal light, for truth and justice and light in the world and in others.

Blessed art thou man who lights sparks of love, compassion and giving in the world.



Our ancestors declared the dreaded power of this day.
Are we any less mindful of its important purpose?
They stood in judgment, their fates weighed in the balance.
Do we not stand in self-evaluation, our choices equally measured?
They implored and beseeched, and asked for atonement.
We introspect and reflect, and seek self-awareness.
They confessed before another.
We chastise before ourselves.
Like them, we stand poised before an ever-unfolding book of life,
We believe it is written by our deeds and by the events that befall us.
We strive to take responsibility for our lives and write the pages ourselves,
And accept, with courage and dignity, the pages over which we have no control. 


Yom Kippur: The Subtle Changes in Life

The sages in the Talmud put it this way: "A person is not given the opportunity for greatness until he is tested in the small things." Moses, the greatest leader in Jewish history, started his career as the shepherd of someone else's sheep. The same is true for King David: first a shepherd, then a king. A future Moses or a King David is entrusted with the destiny of the Jewish people only if first he is able to tend a flock with integrity and compassion and take care that the sheep don't wander off and eat a bit of grass from someone else's field.

Take care. Take care of the small, almost invisible choices. Those precious, precious details of character and life.

In the final analysis there will always exist a symbiotic tension between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Rosh Hashanah beckons us to take a panoramic view of our lives, all the while paying scant attention to the nuance that lies therein. Yom Kippur is just the opposite—entirely nuance: the tree, the leaves, and the nourishing roots, with barely a thought to the great forest in which we stand.

‘Yom Kippur:  The Subtle Changes in Life’ questions:

Considering we are now concluding the Yomim Noraim - a long period of reflection and re-evaluation - what are some of your big ideas, projects, or resolutions for the New Year?

Often we plan large, but forget some of the smaller details which actually enable us to act large. Therefore, while reflecting upon the larger picture you painted for yourself during Rosh Hashana and the Yomim Noraim (projects, resolutions, reflections etc.) what are the nuanced and smaller things (be they actions, aims, a change of atmosphere etc.) which support the attainment of your larger projects/thoughts, resolutions?



I know a Man – Yehuda Amichai

I know a man
who photographed the view he saw
from the window of the room where he made love
and not the face of the woman he loved there.



What is the poem saying?

Do you ever fail to acknowledge those beautiful or precious things in life which right in front of you?

Do we become complacent in regard to those we love because we are constantly surrounded by them?

How central are people and friends in your life? How does this philosophically and practically manifest in the day to day?

What kind of perspective change is needed? How can we practically reignite on a daily basis a renewed connection with those around us? Is it even possible?

What other things – particularly the smaller and more nuanced things – do you think you regularly fail to fully notice/appreciate/act upon?


HEAR O ISRAEL   Justice and Mercy are One!

May they reign supreme in unity forever and ever!

HEAR O ISRAEL    All Humanity is One!

May all people live together in fellowship and love!

HEAR O ISRAEL    All the World is One!

Let us join hands here and everywhere in peace.


OUR FATHER, OUR KING (Traditional Version)

Hear our voice, Lord our God,

pity and be compassionate to us, and accept - with compassion and favour - our prayer.

We are responsible for our deeds.

We are responsible for granting forgiveness.

We are responsible for forgiving ourselves.

We join together to declare that which we wish to forgive.


Ts’rikhim Anahnu Tsedeq v’-Hesed             We Need Justice & Kindness

(an adaptation of Rabbi Sherwin Wine’s “Ani-nu” – sung like the traditional version attributed to Rabbi Aqiva in the Takmud: Taanit 25b)
Ts’rikhim Anahnu                                           We need
l-taher libei-nu (repeat first 2 lines)                   to cleanse our hearts
ki’ein ba-nu                                                     for lacking among us
ma’asim.                                                          are (enough) good deeds.

T’hi ima-nu                                                      Let there be among us
ts’daqah v’hesed                                           (more) justice and kindness
v’-gam y’shuah. (repeat last 3 lines)                and also help (in times of trouble).

Let us recognize our short-comings and our potentials
as we work to live up to our ideals.


‘...So they would understand the things I did do / And forgive me for the things I didn't do...’

-Yehuda Amichai


The Code of Jewish Law, Shulchan Aruch

“The way of the Children of Israel is slow to become angry and easy to be pacified, and when the offender asks for forgiveness, they grant it wholeheartedly and willingly. Even if one has been grievously wronged, one should not seek vengeance, nor bare a grudge against the one that had wronged him. On the contrary, if the offender has not come to him to beg forgiveness, the offended person should present himself to the offender in order that the latter ask his pardon.

If a person harbours enmity in his heart, his prayers on Yom Kippur will not be accepted, God forbid, but the one who is magnanimous and forgiving, will have all his sins forgiven”.



We often talk about asking for forgiveness on Yom Kippur but not often do we speak about giving forgiveness.

Is it easy to give forgiveness?

Are their certain circumstances whereby one should not have to forgive another?

Are we asking too much of ourselves as human-beings? Are we asking ourselves to be almost super-human, contrary to human nature, “to be slow to anger and easy to pacify” and almost be active in giving forgiveness? Or is this what we should strive for as Jews?


‘...If the injured party refuses to forgive even when the sinner has come before him three times in the presence of others and asked for forgiveness, then he is in turn deemed to have sinned...’ (see Mid. Tanh. Hukkat 19)



Do you think that this is justified? That if the wrongdoer is genuinely sorry for their actions, recognises their wrongdoing and is desperately seeking forgiveness, then the burden of sin and wrongdoing is then transferred to you?

What practical suggestions can we think of we can aid us in forgiving? What perspective changes do we need?


Since one of the distinguishing marks of all of Abraham’s true descendants is that they are forgiving.  The quality of forgiveness was one of the gifts God bestowed on Abraham and his seed (Yer. 79a ; Num R. 8:4 ; Yad, Teshuvah 2:10)


Nizkor – We will Remember

“Man should be pliant as a reed, not hard like the cedar” in granting forgiveness (Ta’an. 20a)



U’netane Tokef – We shall Ascribe

‘...The origin of man is dust, his end is dust. He earns his bread by exertion and is like a broken shard, like dry grass, a withered flower, like a passing shadow and a vanishing cloud, like a breeze that blows away and dust that scatters, like a dream that flies away...’

(author unknown)
You shall ask,
What good are dead leaves?
And I will tell you,
They nourish the sore earth.
You shall ask,
What reason is there for winter?
And I will tell you,
To bring about new leaves.
You shall ask,
Why are the leaves so green?
And I will tell you,
Because they are rich in life.
You shall ask,
Why must summer end?
And I will tell you,
So that the leaves can die.


- Rabbi Peter Schweitzer

It is not death we fear, but dying.
It is not passing we fear, but pain.
It is not leaving we fear, but being left behind.
It is not separation we fear, but saying goodbye.
May strength and courage be ours.


Joyce Grenfell

If I should go before the rest of you,
Break not a flower, nor inscribe a stone,
Nor, when I am gone, speak in a Sunday voice,
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must, parting is hell,
But life goes on
So...sing as well!



Many of our loved ones are no longer with us.  Although we miss them, nothing can compensate for their absence.  However, their worthy deeds and cherished personalities remain in our memory to sweeten our thoughts and mitigate the pain of separation.

May those whom the years bound to us with ties of deep affection live on in our hearts and minds.

Those who wish may come forward and light a candle



Henei ma tov

Henei ma tov umanaim
Shevet achim gam yachad
Hinei ma tov umanaim
Shevet achim gam yachad


Behold how good
Behold how good and
How pleasant it is
For brothers to dwell together
Behold how good and
How pleasant it is
For brothers to dwell together


Oseh Shalom(Traditional)

Oseh shalom bimromav
Hu ya'aseh shalom aleinu
V'al kol Yisrael
V'imru, v'imru amen.

Ya'aseh shalom, ya'aseh shalom
Shalom aleinu v'al kol Yisrael
Ya'aseh shalom, ya'aseh shalom
Shalom aleinu v'al kol Yisrael

(May he who makes peace in high places,
make peace for us and for all Israel,
and let us say, amen.)


Na’aseh Shalom – Let Us Make Peace
(adapted song from the end of the Mourner’s Qaddish)

Na’aseh Shalom ba-olam.                   Let us make peace in the world.
Na’aseh shalom alei-nu,                      Please let us make peace our responsibility
v’al kol Yisra’el.                                    & the responsibility of all (the Jewish people) Yisra’el.
V’-no’mar, no,’mar “Amen.”                 And let us say, let us say: “Agreed. So be it.”

Na’aseh Shalom, na’aseh Shalom-     Let us make peace, let us make peace-
shalom alei-nu,                                     peace is our responsibility,
v’al kol Yisra’el.                                     & the responsibility of all (the Jewish people) Yisra’el.
Na’aseh Shalom, na’aseh Shalom-      Let us make peace, let us make peace-
shalom alei-nu,                                      peace is our responsibility,
v’al kol ha-olam.                                    & the responsibility of all the world.

(repeat these last 6 lines once, the first 3 with a higher pitch)



Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu

Od yavo shalom aleinu

Od yavo shalom aleinu

Od yavo shalom aleinu v’al kulam.

Salaam, aleinu v’al kol haolam, salaam, salaam.

Salaam, aleinu v’al kol haolam, salaam, salaam.

Od yavo shalom aleinu

Od yavo shalom aleinu

Od yavo shalom aleinu v’al kulam.


Peace will yet come to us

Peace will yet come to us

Peace will yet come to us

Peace will come to us and everyone.

Salaam, peace for us and for all the world, peace, peace.

Salaam, peace for us and for all the world, peace, peace.

Peace will yet come to us

Peace will yet come to us

Peace will yet come to us and everyone.

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