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September 14, 2012

Days of Awe a time for life adjustments

(Continued)

RELEASED FROM VOWS

The High Holy Days concludes with Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) on Sept. 25.

“In the evening, there is a special part of the service called Kol Nidre, All Vows. Technically, it’s a legal proceeding allowing you to repent for vows you made that you could not keep so you cannot get punished for not keeping them. It’s a way of being released from them, so you can actually make things better instead of being continually under the shadow of them. We take vows very seriously,” she said.

Never swear by God for something you don’t mean to do.

“You shouldn’t take the name of the Lord in vain. We take God very seriously. This releases you and that you learn from your mistake and not do that again. It has a song (‘Kol Nidre’) that’s really quite beautiful,” Tuling said.

BACK ON TRACK

Congregation members start fasting at sundown on Yom Kippur and continue fasting until sundown the next day.

“You shouldn’t eat anything more than one olive,” she said.

For medical reasons, some Jews do not participate, especially pregnant women.

“The next day, you have service pretty much all day. You don’t want to go home while you’re fasting. The services are to repent and let go of your sins and to accept the sovereignty of God. Essentially, things that are not in your control. It teaches humility. It helps you get back on track,” Tuling said.

Yom Kippur offers observers the chance to take stock of their lives, where they are and where they are going.

“You don’t know that you’re going to live another year,” Tuling said. “What would you do knowing this is your last one? What are you going to do?”

The shofar’s long blasts signal the end of the Days of Awe.

Email Robin Caudell:

rcaudell@pressrepublican.com

TO LEARN MORE WHAT: Days of Awe, High Holy Days WHERE: Temple Beth Israel, 1 Bowman Street, Plattsburgh. CONTACT: Questions may be directed to Rabbi Kari Tuling at 563-3343 or tbirabbi@verizon.net. WEBSITE: www.beth israelplattsburgh.org

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