Monday, September 24, 2007
Yom Kippur (Hebrew:יוֹם כִּפּוּר ) is a Jewish holiday, known in English as the Day of Atonement. With its central themes of atonement and repentance for sins against both God and one's fellow man, Yom Kippur is the most solemn of the Jewish holidays.
We here at the Brooklyn College English Major's Office felt it important to share a little of this holiday with the rest of the internet community.
1Cry with full throat, without restraint;Raise your voice like a ram's horn!Declare to My people their transgression,To the House of Jacob their sin.
2 To be sure, they seek Me daily,Eager to learn My ways.Like a nation that does what is right,That has not abandoned the laws of its God,They ask Me for the right way,They are eager for the nearness of God:
3 "Why, when we fasted, did You not see?When we starved our bodies, did You pay no heed?"Because on your fast dayYou see to your businessAnd oppress all your laborers!
4 Because you fast in strife and contention,And you strike with a wicked fist!your fasting today is not suchAs to make your voice heard on high.
5 Is such the fast I desire,A day for men to starve their bodies?Is it bowing the head like a bulrushAnd lying in sackcloth and ashes?Do you call that a fast,A day when the Lord is favorable?
6 No, this is the fast I desire:To unlock the fetters of wickedness,And untie the cords of the yokeTo let the oppressed go free;To break off every yoke.
7 It is to share your bread with the hungry,And to take the wretched poor into your home;When you see the naked, to clothe him,And not to ignore your own kin.
8 Then shall your light burst through like the dawnAnd your healing spring up quickly;Your Vindicator shall march before you,The Presence of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
9 Then, when you call, the Lord will answer;When you cry, He will say: Here I am.If you banish the yoke from your midst,The menacing hand and evil speech,
10 And you offer your compassion to the hungryAnd satisfy the famished creature —The shall your light shine in darkness,And your gloom shall be like noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;He will slake your thirst in parched placesAnd give strength to your bones.You shall be like a watered garden,Like a spring whose waters do not fail.
12 Men from your midst shall rebuild ancient ruins,you shall restore foundations laid long ago.And you shall be called"Repairer of fallen walls,Restorer of lanes for habitation."
13 If you refrian from trampling the sabbath,From pursuing your affairs on My holy day;If call the sabbath "delight,"The Lord's holy day "honored";And if you honor it and go not your waysNor look to yours affairs, nor strike bargains —
14 Then you can seek the favor of the Lord.I will set you astride the heights of the earth,And let you enjoy the heritage of your father Jacob —For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Taken from Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures, (Philadelphia, Jerusalem:Jewish Publication Society) 1985.Used by permission of The Jewish Publication Society. Copyright (c)1962, 1992Third Edition by the Jewish Publication Society. No part of this textcan be reproduced or forwarded without written permission.Please visit the JPS website for more fine books of Jewish literatureand tradition.