Erev Yom Kippur with Hadar
Tuesday, October 4, 2022
9:00 AM - 1:50 PM Eastern
In ancient times, Erev Yom Kippur was a mini-holiday in its own right, known as Ma'al - derived from the Aramaic word for “erev”. This was an important day when people asked each other for forgiveness. It is found in the Talmud numerous times, including a poignant story about the great sage Rav asking Rabbi Hanina for forgiveness on Erev Yom Kippur 13 times (Yoma 87b). Jewish communities in Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, continued to refer to Erev Yom Kippur by this name until recently.
Prepare spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually for the holiday by learning about the themes and prayers of the day, enjoying soulful melodies and excerpts from Yom Kippur liturgy, and engaging in longstanding erev Yom Kippur traditions like making a yahrzeit candle and reciting prayers for loved ones. Join for the whole day or tune in for as many sessions as you like!
9:00-9:50 AM: Eating as if You're Fasting: The Obligation to Eat on Erev Yom Kippur
During this opening session, we will explore the obligation to eat on Erev Yom Kippur. What is the nature of this obligation? Where does it come from? What can it teach us about the meaning of Yom Kippur itself and the process of Teshuvah?
10:00-10:50 AM: The Essence of Forgiveness: Understanding Selichot
Rabbi Elie Kaunfer
Among the critical features of Yom Kippur are the variety of petitions to God for forgiveness. But is forgiveness really fair? Is there a deeper purpose to the Selichot that we are missing? As we prepare for Yom Kippur, join us as we explore the nature of forgiveness through the images in the Bible and Talmud that stand behind these prayers.
11:00-11:50 AM: Humanity! Why Do You Slumber?
Rabbi Elie Lehmann
Prepare for Yom Kippur by diving into the soulful poetry of selichot from the Sephardic tradition. We will listen to this beautiful poetry, explore the many intertextual references from tanakh and rabbinic literature, and attempt to find personal meaning that we can take into the holiday.
12:00-12:50 PM: Where the Small Contains the Great: Preparing for Vidui
Hannah Kapnik Ashar
We will learn a profound midrash about miraculously expanding divine and human capacities, including through prayer on Yom Kippur. Using insights from this midrash, we will go into Yom Kippur with new possibilities of how we can bring ourselves to the vidui (confession) this year.
1:00-1:50 PM: Early Yizkor Rituals: Memory, Meaning and Candle-Making
Rabbi Aviva Richman and August Kahn, Hadar Beit Midrash Fellow
The Yom Kippur Yizkor service is an opportunity to honor and remember the lives of those who have died, to ensure that no one is forgotten. During this session, we will turn to an Eastern European women's ritual of hand-making yizkor candles and imbuing them with the names of loved ones. Together, we will study the theology and poetry of traditional yiddish prayers associated with this ritual, and then put it into practice while listening to a personal reflection from August Kahn, one of Hadar’s current Beit Midrash fellows who made the trip to a cemetery of his ancestors to engage in this ritual directly.
With each dip of the wick into wax, we will recite names of people we have lost - relatives, community members, essential workers, and those who have none to mourn them - and the light of these candles, and these lives, will accompany our prayers throughout Yom Kippur. Join to listen, or gather your own supplies and make your own candle at the same time.