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Yom Kippur Readings: Inspiration, Information and Contemplation

Yom Kippur Readings: Inspiration, Information and Contemplation

by Dov Peretz Elkins (Editor), Arthur Green (Introduction)

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A powerful collection of writings about Yom Kippur that will add spiritual depth and holiness to your experience of the Day of Atonement.

As Rosh Hashanah ends and you look ahead to Yom Kippur, what do you think about? The familiar melody of Kol Nidre? The long hours of fasting? The days of self-examination? You know that the Day of


A powerful collection of writings about Yom Kippur that will add spiritual depth and holiness to your experience of the Day of Atonement.

As Rosh Hashanah ends and you look ahead to Yom Kippur, what do you think about? The familiar melody of Kol Nidre? The long hours of fasting? The days of self-examination? You know that the Day of Atonement is the holiest on the Jewish calendar, but sometimes it just feels long, tiresome and devoid of personal meaning. The readings in this book are for anyone seeking a deeper level of personal reflection and spiritual intimacy—and a clearer understanding of just what makes Yom Kippur so holy.

Drawn from a variety of sources—ancient, medieval, modern, Jewish and non-Jewish—this selection of readings, prayers and insights explores the opportunities for inspiration and reflection inherent in the themes addressed on the Day of Atonement: sin, forgiveness, repentance, spiritual growth, and being at one with self, family, community and God. These readings enable you to enter into the spirit of Yom Kippur in a personal and powerful way while they uplift and inform. They will add to the benefits of your High Holy Day experience year after year.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"From Kol Nidre to N'eilah, from wearing a kittel to the Book of Jonah; and, from teachers and texts ranging from Art Green to Leo Tolstoy, from Merle Feld to Marge Piercy, from Arnold Eisen to Albert Einstein, from Heschel to Baeck, and from Midrash to (of course) Anonymous—they’re all there! Elkins gives us the complete Yom Kippur meditative experience. Smuggle it in with you along with (or instead of) your mahzor!"
Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, coauthor of Filling Words with Light: Hasidic and Mystical Reflections on Jewish Prayer and many other books on spirituality

“Prepares the heart and mind for prayer. In it are sermons in parables, insights in poetry, wisdom in tales and commentaries in anecdotes.”
Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis, author of Conscience: The Duty to Obey and the Duty to Disobey

“If you want to spend Yom Kippur (or the months leading up to it) in the company of some of the best Jewish spiritual writers of our time, this is the book for you. Amidst the beautiful and wise passages collected here, you are sure to find something to open your heart.”
—Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer, coauthor of Judaism for Two: A Spiritual Guide for Strengthening & Celebrating Your Loving Relationship

“Full of wonderful material that will deepen the Yom Kippur experience for rabbis and their communities. An ever-flowing spring of thoughts and prayers to help us approach Yom Kippur with meaning, creativity, soulfulness and blessing.”
Rabbi Naomi Levy, spiritual leader of Nashuva and author of To Begin Again and Talking to God

“Like a spring that courses through the desert, there are life-giving waters here. Beneath the surface gleam scattered gems from great teachers, to nourish the spirit during the Days of Awe.”
Rabbi Rachel S. Mikva, editor of Broken Tablets: Restoring the Ten Commandments and Ourselves

“Those seeking meaning for living from Judaism will find this High Holy Day anthology of teachers and texts from every walk of Jewish life offers spiritual nourishment for every Jewish home.”
Rabbi Goldie Milgram, author of Meaning & Mitzvah: Daily Practices for Reclaiming Judaism through Prayer, God, Torah, Hebrew, Mitzvot and Peoplehood

“Provocative…. Stressing in straightforward language the themes of Yom Kippur, this will be valuable to laymen who want to prepare for that day. The wide variety of impressive sources, ancient and mostly modern, confront us with what should be our serious concerns on that day (and on other days) in the framework of our lives.”
Rabbi Jules Harlow, editor and translator of Mahzor for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and author of Pray Tell: A Hadassah Guide to Jewish Prayer

“Filled with inspirational readings that are profound, and that will challenge and ignite the mind and heart alike…. Will deepen the High Holy Day experience for every reader.”
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author of Jewish Literacy and The Book of Jewish Values

Product Details

Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.22(h) x 1.16(d)

Meet the Author

Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins, award-winning anthologist, lecturer, educator and author, is coeditor of the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Jewish Soul. Widely published in the Jewish and general press, he is author of The Wisdom of Judaism: An Introduction to the Values of the Talmud (Jewish Lights), and is editor of Yom Kippur Readings: Inspiration, Information and Contemplation; Rosh Hashanah Readings: Inspiration, Information and Contemplation; and Jewish Stories from Heaven and Earth: Inspiring Tales to Nourish the Heart and Soul (all Jewish Lights). He is rabbi emeritus of The Jewish Center of Princeton, New Jersey, and a former member of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly and the Council for Jewish Education. Visit his websites—www.wisdomofjudaism.org and www.eco-judaism.org—for more information.

Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins is available to speak on the following topics:

  • A Taste of Eco-Judaism
  • Chicken Soup for the Jewish Soul
  • Shabbat: A Day for the Rest of Your Life
  • Hasidic Wisdom and Modern Psychology
  • A Tale of Two Cities—Jerusalem and Washington DC: The Jewish People's Love Affair with the Holy City

Arthur Green, PhD, is recognized as one of the world's preeminent authorities on Jewish thought and spirituality. He is the Irving Brudnick professor of philosophy and religion at Hebrew College and rector of the Rabbinical School, which he founded in 2004. Professor emeritus at Brandeis University, he also taught at the University of Pennsylvania and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where he served as dean and president.

Dr. Green is author of several books including Judaism's Ten Best Ideas: A Brief Guide for Seekers; Ehyeh: A Kabbalah for Tomorrow; Seek My Face: A Jewish Mystical Theology; Your Word Is Fire: The Hasidic Masters on Contemplative Prayer and Tormented Master: The Life and Spiritual Quest of Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav (all Jewish Lights). He is also author of Radical Judaism (Yale University Press) and coauthor of Speaking Torah: Spiritual Teachings from around the Maggid's Table. He is long associated with the Havurah movement and a neo-Hasidic approach to Judaism.

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