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从美国Danbury Public Schools 2008-2009 Calendar的放假日谈起

已有 6934 次阅读 2008-4-6 23:06 |个人分类:美国纪行见闻(A)

从美国Danbury Public Schools 2008-2009 Calendar的放假日谈起

 

黄安年文  黄安年的博客/200846日发布

 

这里说的是美国一所普通公立小学Danbury Public Schools (丹伯里公共学校)2008-2009年的校历,该校除了星期六、日的双休日外,明确规定了在每周一到五期间的放假日期,具体规定如下:

 

828日星期五上课 (First day of classes

91日星期一,放假 (Labor Day-& Schools  Offices closed)

930日星期二,放假.(Rosh Hashanah-Schools & Offices closed)

109日星期四,放假  (Yom Kippur-Schools & Offices closed)

1013日星期一,放假 (Columbus Day- Schools & Offices closed)

114日星期二,放假 (Professional Development-All Schools Closed)

1111日星期二,放假 (Veterans’ Day- Schools & Offices closed)

1126-28日星期三,放假(Thanksgiving Recess-Schools & Offices closed)

1224-31日星期三--星期三,放假 (Holiday Recess-Schools Closed)

 

200911-2日星期四五,放假 (New Years Day-Schools & Offices Closed)

119日星期一,放假 (Martin Luther King Day-Schools & Offices Closed)

21316日星期五,,放假 (Presidents’ Day Weekend-Schools closed)

410-17日星期五,放假 (Good Friday-Schools & Offices closed; Spring Recess-Schools closed)

525日星期一,放假 (Memorial Day-Schools & Offices closed)

526日星期二,放假 (Professional Development-All Schools Closed)

615日星期一,放假 (Tentative School Closing-Early Dismissal- All Schools)

615—92,放假

 

 

由上可见:

,美国没有寒假,圣诞节和元旦期间,连同双休日有12,相当于我国的“寒假

,美国暑假长达二个半月左右。安排孩子出国游等主要是这个时期。

,一年中,美国学校的放假日多达28,分散在12,这使得家长在安排休假时要考虑到和孩子的放假响应衔接。

,小学每天下午3点半就结束课程,放学回家,而家中务必有人。

,在上课期间,孩子有较多的作业和活动,往往需要家长协同,同时要求家长参与“义工活动,从而增加了家长参与的责任。

 

在这种情况下:

第一,孩子在中小学上学,对于家长的弹性上班和休假提出了更加迫切的要求,否则难以处理孩子在家和大人上班难以两全其美的矛盾。同时也是华人

第二,随着改革开放以来在美国学习工作的华人孩子上中小学校人数的积聚增多,以及华人双职工情况较多的情况,势必扩大“照顾第三代”的十万大军的队伍。

第三,中国保姆大军将会通过合法渠道和非法渠道在美国立足,她们在美国的收入远比国内高高,而来美渠道的多元化使得这种需求成为双向积极选择。

 

附:两个宗教节日的介绍:

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Rosh Hashanah

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Rosh Hashanah

A shofar made from a ram's horn

Official name

Hebrew: ??? ?????

Also called

Jewish (civil) New Year

Observed by

Judaism and Jews

Type

Jewish

Significance

Jewish civil new year according to the Hebrew calendar. Commemorates the Creation of the world as narated in the Bible. Beginning of the ten "Days of Awe" prior to Yom Kippur.

Begins

Start of first day of Tishrei

Ends

End of second day of Tishrei

2007 date

sunset, September 12 ? sunset, September 14

2008 date

sunset, September 29 ? sunset, October 1

2009 date

sunset, September 18 ? sunset, September 20

Observances

Praying in synagogue, hearing the shofar. Festive meals with challah. Auspicious foods such as apples dipped in honey, fish heads and pomegranates are often eaten, as well as new fruits on the second night. Refraining from work.

Related to

Yom Kippur, the "Day of Atonement."

This article is about the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. For the tractate in the Talmud with the same name, see Rosh Hashanah (Talmud).

Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew: ??? ?????, Biblical: IPA: [??o? ha????n?h], Israeli: [?ro? ha?a?na], Yiddish: [?ro?? h????n?]) is commonly referred as the Jewish New Year (literally translated as "head of the year"). The day falls on the first of the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar, Tishrei (Leviticus 23:24), the first month being Nisan. Nowhere in the Torah is the holiday called Rosh Hashanah. In Leviticus 23:24 it is referred to as "the day of the blowing of the horns (Shofar)" (Yom Terua). In Ezekiel 40:1 the day is referred to as "the beginning of the year" and not the first day of the year. Rabbinic literature and the liturgy itself describe Rosh Hashanah as "the day of judgment" (Yom ha-Din) and "the day of remembrance" (Yom ha-Zikkaron). Some midrashic descriptions depict God as sitting upon a throne, while books containing the deeds of all humanity are opened for review, and each person passing in front of Him for evaluation of his or her deeds. All of these names are also referenced in the holiday's extensive liturgy.

This holiday is the first of the High Holidays or Yamim Noraim ("Days of Awe"), the most solemn days of the Jewish year; the Yamim Noraim are preceded by the month of Elul, during which Jews are supposed to begin a self-examination and repentance, a process that culminates in the ten days of the Yamim Noraim known as Asseret Yemei Teshuva - The Ten Days of Repentance, beginning with Rosh Hashanah and ending with the holiday of Yom Kippur.

Judaism has four "new year" observances which mark the start of various legal "years", much like 1 January marks the "New Year" of the Gregorian calendar, while other dates mark fiscal or other "new year" events. Rosh Hashanah is the start of the civil year in the Hebrew calendar. It is the new year for people, animals, and legal contracts. The Mishnah also sets this day aside as the new year for calculating calendar years and sabbatical (shmita) and jubilee (yovel) years.

Contents

[hide]

* 1 Date

* 2 Traditions and customs and food

* 3 In the Torah

* 4 In rabbinic literature

* 5 See also

* 6 References

* 7 External links

[edit] Date

According to the Tanakh Leviticus 23:24 Rosh Hashanah falls on the first of the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar, Tishrei, and is of one day duration. Since days in the Hebrew calendar begin at sundown, the beginning of Rosh Hashanah is at sundown at the end of 29 Elul. Rosh Hashanah was celebrated for only one day in the Land of Israel prior to the time of Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai at the time of the destruction of the Second Temple. However, ever since his time, normative Jewish law appears to be that Rosh Hashanah is to be celebrated for two days. There is some evidence that Rosh Hashanah was celebrated on a single day in Israel even as late as the thirteenth century CE.

However, Orthodox and Conservative Judaism now generally observe Rosh Hashanah for the first two days of Tishrei, even in Israel where most Jewish holidays last only one day. The two days of Rosh Hashanah are said to constitute "Yoma Arichtah" (Aramaic: "one long day"). The observance of a second day is a later addition and does not follow from the literal reading of Leviticus 23:24. In Reconstructionist Judaism and Reform Judaism, some communities observe only the first day of Rosh Hashanah, while others observe the two days. Karaite Jews, who do not recognise Jewish oral law, but rely solely on Biblical authority, observe only one day on the first day of Tishrei, since the second day is not mentioned in the Torah.

The Hebrew calendar is so designed that the first day of Rosh Hashanah will not occur on the first, fourth, or sixth days of the Jewish week[1] (ie Sunday, Wednesday or Friday).

The following table lists the start day, in the Gregorian calendar, of Rosh Hashanah for some years. Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset on the evening on the first day listed in the table. For those who observe Rosh Hashanah for one day, the holiday ends at sunset on the next day, and for those who observe it for two days, it ends at sunset of the day after.

Jewish Year

Starts (at sundown)

5768

12 September 2007

5769

29 September 2008

5770

18 September 2009

5771

08 September 2010

Rosh Hashanah occurs 163 days after the first day of Pesach (Passover). In terms of the Gregorian calendar, the earliest date on which Rosh Hashanah can fall is September 5, as happened in 1899 and will happen again in 2013. After 2089, the differences between the Hebrew calendar and the Gregorian calendar will result in Rosh Hashanah being no earlier than September 6. Rosh Hashanah can occur on October 5 at the latest, as happened in 1967 and will happen again in 2043.

[edit] Traditions and customs and food

 

 

A shofar in the Yemenite Jewish style. (Photo by Olve Utne (Olve)

Rosh Hashanah is a day of rest (Leviticus 23:24) and the activities prohibited on Shabbat are also prohibited on all Jewish holidays, including Rosh Hashanah.

Rosh Hashanah is characterized by the blowing of the shofar,[2] a trumpet made from a ram's horn. In fact, the shofar is blown in traditional communities every morning for the entire month of Elul, the month preceding Rosh Hashanah. The sound of the shofar is intended to awaken the listener from his or her "slumber" and alert them to the coming judgment.[3] Orthodox and some Conservative Jewish communities do not blow the shofar on Shabbat.[4]

In the period leading up to the Yamim Noraim (Hebrew, "days of awe") penitential prayers, called selichot, are recited, and on Rosh Hashanah itself, religious poems, called piyyuttim, are added to the regular services. Special prayer books for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, called the mahzor (plural mahzorim), have developed over the years. Many poems refer to Psalms 81:4: "Blow the shofar on the [first day of the] month, when the [moon] is covered for our holiday".

Rosh Hashanah has a number of additions to the regular service, most notably an extended repetition of the Amidah prayer for both Shacharit and Mussaf. The Shofar is blown during Mussaf at several intervals. Biblical verses are recited at each point. According to the Mishnah, 10 verses (each) are said regarding kingship, remembrance, and the shofar itself, each accompanied by the blowing of the shofar. A variety of piyyutim, medieval penitential prayers, are recited regarding themes of repentance. The Alenu prayer is recited during the repetition of the Mussaf Amidah.

The traditional greeting on Rosh Hashanah is "shana tova", (pronounced [??ana?tova]) Hebrew for "a good year," or "shana tova umetukah" for "a good and sweet year." Because Jews are being judged by God for the coming year, a longer greeting translates as "may you be written and sealed for a good year" (ketiva ve-chatima tovah).

During the afternoon of the first day occurs the practice of tashlikh, in which prayers are recited near natural flowing water, and one's sins are symbolically cast into the water. Many also have the custom to throw bread or pebbles into the water, to symbolize the "casting off" of sins. In some communities, if the first day of Rosh Hashanah occurs on Shabbat tashlikh is postponed to the second day. The traditional service for tashlikh is recited individually and includes the prayer "Who is like unto you, O God...And You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea", and Biblical passages including Isaiah 11:9 ("They will not injure nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be as full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea") and Psalms 118:5-9, 121 and 130, as well as personal prayers.

 

 

Rosh Hashanah table set with symbolic foods.

Rosh Hashanah meals often include apples and honey, to symbolize a "sweet new year". Various other foods with a symbolic meaning may be served, depending on local minhag (custom), such as tongue or other meat from the head (to symbolise the "head" of the year). Other symbolic foods are dates, black-eyed beans, leek, spinach and gourd, all of which are mentioned in the Talmud. Pomegranates are used in many traditions: the use of apples and honey is a late medieval Ashkenazi addition, though it is now almost universally accepted. Typically, round challah bread is served, to symbolize the cycle of the year. On the second night, new fruits are served to warrant inclusion of the shehecheyanu blessing, the saying of which would otherwise be doubtful (as the second day is part of the "long day" mentioned above).

[edit] In the Torah

In the earliest times the Hebrew year began in autumn with the opening of the economic year. There followed in regular succession the seasons of seed-sowing, growth and ripening of the corn (here meaning any grain) under the influence of the former and the latter rains, harvest and ingathering of the fruits. In harmony with this was the order of the great agricultural festivals, according to the oldest legislation, namely, the feast of unleavened bread at the beginning of the barley harvest, in the month of Abib; the feast of harvest, seven weeks later; and the feast of ingathering at the going out or turn of the year (See Exodus 23:14-17; Deuteronomy 16:1-16).

It is likely that the new year was celebrated from ancient times in some special way. The earliest reference to such a custom is, probably, in the account of the vision of Ezekiel (Ezek 40:1). This took place at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month (Tishri). On the same day the beginning of the year of jubilee was to be proclaimed by the blowing of trumpets (Lev 25:9). According to the Septuagint rendering of Ezek 44:20, special sacrifices were to be offered on the first day of the seventh month as well as on the first day of the first month. This first day of the seventh month was appointed by the Law to be "a day of blowing of trumpets". There was to be a holy convocation; no servile work was to be done; and special sacrifices were to be offered (Lev 23:23-25; Num 24:1-6). This day was not expressly called New-Year's Day, but it was evidently so regarded by the Jews at a very early period.

[edit] In rabbinic literature

Philo, in his treatise on the festivals, calls Rosh Hashanah the festival of the sacred moon and feast of the trumpets, and explains the blowing of the trumpets as being a memorial of the giving of the Torah and a reminder of God's benefits to mankind in general ("De Septennario," § 22).

The Mishnah, the core text of Judaism's oral Torah, contains the first known reference to the "day of judgment". It says: "Four times in the year the world is judged: On Passover a decree is passed on the produce of the soil; on Shavuot, on the fruits of the trees; on Rosh Hashanah all men pass before Him ("God"); and on the Feast of Tabernacles a decree is passed on the rain of the year.

R. Yaakov Kamenetsky explains that in earlier generations it was considered preferable not to reveal that it was a "day of judgment" so as not to mix any other feeling into "the day of the coronation of G-d". In later generations as people lost touch with the significance of the day it was necessary to reveal that it was also "the day of judgment" so that people would approach the holiday with proper awe and respect. (B'Mechitzot Rabbenu)

According to rabbinic tradition, the creation of the world completed on 1 Tishrei.

The observance of the 1 Tishrei as Rosh Hashanah is based principally on the mention of "zikkaron" (= "memorial day"; Lev 23:24) and the reference of Ezra to the day as one "holy to the Lord" (Neh 8:9) seem to point. The passage in Psalms 81:5 referring to the solemn feast which is held on New Moon Day, when the shofar is sounded, as a day of "mishpat" (judgment) of "the God of Jacob" is taken to indicate the character of Rosh Hashanah .

In Jewish thought, Rosh Hashanah is the most important judgment day, on which all the inhabitants of the world pass for judgment before the Creator, as sheep pass for examination before the shepherd. It is written in the Talmud, in the tractate on Rosh Hashanah that three books of account are opened on Rosh Hashanah , wherein the fate of the wicked, the righteous, and those of an intermediate class are recorded. The names of the righteous are immediately inscribed in the book of life, and they are sealed "to live." The middle class are allowed a respite of ten days till Yom Kippur, to repent and become righteous?; the wicked are "blotted out of the book of the living" (Psalms 69:29).

The zodiac sign of the balance for Tishrei is claimed to indicate the scales of judgment, balancing the meritorious against the wicked acts of the person judged. The taking of an annual inventory of accounts on Rosh Hashanah is adduced by Rabbi Nahman ben Isaac from the passage in Deut 11:12, which says that the care of God is directed from "the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year". 1 Tishrei was considered as the beginning of Creation.

It is said in the Talmud that on Rosh Hashanah the means of sustenance of every person are apportioned for the ensuing year; so also are his destined losses.

The Zohar, a medieval work of Kabbalah, lays stress on the universal observance of two days, and states that the two passages in Job 1:6 and Job 2:1, "when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord," refer to the first and second days of Rosh Hashanah , observed by the Heavenly Court before the Almighty. (Zohar, Pinchas, p. 231a)

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosh_Hashanah

*****************************************

Yom Kippur

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

'Day of Atonement' redirects here. For other uses, see Day of Atonement (disambiguation).

Yom Kippur

 

Yom Kippur in the synagogue, painting by Maurycy Gottlieb (1878)

Official name

Hebrew: ???? ???????? or ??? ????????

Observed by

Jews

Type

Jewish

Significance

Soul-searching and repentance

Date

10th day of Tishrei

2008 date

Sunset, October 8 ? nightfall, October 9

2009 date

Sunset, September 27 ? nightfall, September 28

Observances

Fasting, prayer, abstaining from physical pleasures, refraining from work

Yom Kippur (Hebrew:???? ???????? , IPA: [?j?m ki?pur]), also known in English as the Day of Atonement, is the most solemn of the Jewish holidays. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews have traditionally observed this holiday with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer.

Contents

[hide]

* 1 Date

* 2 Observances

* 2.1 General observances

* 2.2 Eve of Yom Kippur

* 2.3 Prayer services

* 2.4 The Avodah: Remembering the Temple service

* 2.5 Observance among secular Jews

* 2.6 Yom Kippur in Israel

* 3 Religious themes

* 4 Yom Kippur in the Bible

* 4.1 Midrashic interpretation

* 4.2 View of contemporary Biblical scholarship

* 5 Yom Kippur in Mishnaic and Talmudic Literature

* 5.1 The Temple service

* 6 Christians and Yom Kippur

* 7 Yom Kippur in Islamic tradition

* 8 See also

* 9 References

* 10 External links

[edit] Date

Yom Kippur is the climax of the Yamim Noraim ("Days of Awe"), and with Rosh Hashanah forms the Jewish High Holy Days. In accordance with Leviticus 23:27 the date of Yom Kippur is the 10 Tishrei ("the tenth day of the seventh month") in the Hebrew calendar.

Yom Kippur

Starts (at sundown)

Ends (at night)

5768

2007-09-21

2007-09-22

5769

2008-10-08

2008-10-09

5770

2009-09-27

2009-09-28

5771

2010-09-17

2010-09-18

[edit] Observances

[edit] General observances

Leviticus 23:27 decrees that Yom Kippur is a strict day of rest and of fasting.

Five additional prohibitions are traditionally observed, as detailed in the Jewish oral tradition (Mishnah tractate Yoma 8:1):

1. Eating and drinking

2. Wearing leather shoes

3. Bathing/washing

4. Anointing oneself with perfumes or lotions

5. Marital or sexual relations

Total abstention from food and drink usually begins 30 minutes before sundown (called tosefet Yom Kippur lit. Addition to Yom Kippur ), and ends after nightfall the following day. Although the fast is required of all healthy adults, it is waived in the case of certain medical conditions. Virtually all Jewish holidays involve a ritual feast, but since Yom Kippur involves fasting, Jewish law requires one to eat a large and festive meal on the afternoon before Yom Kippur, after the mincha prayer. Wearing white clothing is traditional to symbolize one's purity on this day. Many Orthodox men immerse themselves in a mikvah on the day before Yom Kippur.

[edit] Eve of Yom Kippur

See also: Kol Nidre

Erev Yom Kippur ( lit. yom kippur eve) is the day before the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. It falls on the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei. The day is commemorated with a festive meal, giving of charity, and visiting others to seek or give forgiveness.[1]

Before sunset on the eve of Yom Kippur ("Day of Atonement"), the congregation gathers in the synagogue. The Ark is opened and two people take from it two Torah scrolls. Then they take their places, one on each side of the cantor, and the three recite:

In the tribunal of Heaven and the tribunal of earth, by the permission of God praised be He and by the permission of this holy congregation, we hold it lawful to pray with transgressors."

The cantor then chants the Kol Nidre prayer (Hebrew: ?? ????) in Aramaic, not Hebrew. Its name is taken from the opening words, meaning "All vows":

All personal vows we are likely to make, all personal oaths and pledges we are likely to take between this Yom Kippur and the next Yom Kippur, we publicly renounce. Let them all be relinquished and abandoned, null and void, neither firm nor established. Let our personal vows, pledges and oaths be considered neither vows nor pledges nor oaths.[2]

The leader and the congregation then say together three times "May all the people of Israel be forgiven, including all the strangers who live in their midst, for all the people are in fault." The Torah scrolls are then replaced, and the customary evening service begins.

[edit] Prayer services

Many married men wear a kittel, a white robe-like garment for evening prayers on Yom Kippur. They also wear a tallis, the only evening service of the year in which this is done. Prayer services begin with the prayer known as "Kol Nidre," which must be recited before sunset, and follows with the evening prayers (ma'ariv or arvith), which includes an extended Selichot service.

The morning prayer service is preceded by litanies and petitions of forgiveness called selichot; on Yom Kippur, many selichot are woven into the liturgy. The morning prayers are followed by an added prayer (musaf) as on all other holidays. It is followed by mincha (the afternoon prayer) which includes a reading (Haftarah) of the Book of Jonah. This is due to its story of God's willingness to forgive those who repent. The service concludes with the ne'ilah prayer, a prayer specifically for Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur comes to an end with a recitation of Shema Yisrael and the blowing of the shofar, which marks the conclusion of the fast.

Repentance in Judaism

Confession in Judaism

Atonement in Judaism

Jewish services

Tzedakah

Selichot

Tashlikh

Ten Days of Repentance

Kapparot

Mikvah

Yom Kippur

Ta'anit

Baal teshuva movement

 

Edit this box

[edit] The Avodah: Remembering the Temple service

A recitation of the sacrificial service of the Temple in Jerusalem traditionally features prominently in both the liturgy and the religious thought of the holiday. Specifically, the Avodah ("service") in the musaf prayer recounts the sacrificial ceremonies in great detail.

This traditional prominence is rooted in the Babylonian Talmud's description of how to attain atonement following the destruction of the Temple. According to Talmud tractate Yoma, in the absence of a Temple, Jews are obligated to study the High Priest's ritual on Yom Kippur, and this study helps achieve atonement for those who are unable to benefit from its actual performance. In Orthodox Judaism, accordingly, studying the Temple ritual on Yom Kippur represents a positive rabbinically-ordained obligation which Jews seeking atonement are required to fulfill.

In Orthodox, most Conservative, and some progressive[3] synagogues a detailed description of the Temple ritual is recited on the day. In most Orthodox and some Conservative synagogues, the entire congregation prostrates themselves at each point in the recitation where the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) would pronounce the Tetragrammaton (God's holiest name, according to Judaism).

The main section of the Avodah is a threefold recitation of the High Priest's actions regarding expiation in the Holy of Holies. Performing the sacrificial acts and reciting Leviticus 16:30, "for on this day atonement shall be made for you, to atone for you for all your sins, before God..." (he would recite the Tetragrammaton at this point, to which the people would prostrate to the ground) and after extending the Name, he would finish the verse "...you shall be purified." He would first ask for forgiveness for himself and his family ("Your pious man"), then for the priestly caste ("Your holy people"), and finally for all of Israel ("Your upright children"). (These three times, plus in some congregations the Alenu prayer during the Musaf Amidah on Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah, are the only times in Jewish services when Jews engage in complete full-body prostration, with the exception of some Yemenite Jews and talmedhei haRambam who may prostrate themselves on other occasions during the year). A variety of liturgical poems are added, including a poem recounting the radiance of the countenance of the Kohen Gadol after exiting the Holy of Holies, traditionally believed to emit palpable light in a manner echoing the Bible's account of the countenance of Moses after descending from Mount Sinai, as well as prayers for the speedy rebuilding of the Temple and the restoration of sacrificial worship. There are a variety of other customs, such as hand gestures to mime the sprinkling of blood (one sprinkling upwards and seven downwards per set of eight).

Orthodox liturgies include prayers lamenting the inability to perform the Temple service and petitioning for its restoration, which Conservative synagogues generally omit. In some Conservative synagogues, only the Hazzan engages in full prostration. Some Conservative synagogues abridge the recitation of the Avodah service to varying degrees, and some omit it entirely. Many Reform and Reconstructionist services omit the entire service as inconsistent with modern sensibilities.

[edit] Observance among secular Jews

Yom Kippur is considered one of the holiest of Jewish holidays, and its observance is held even among the majority of secular Jews who may not strictly observe other holidays. Many secular Jews will fast and attend synagogue on Yom Kippur, where the number of worshippers attending is often double or triple the normal attendance.

[edit] Yom Kippur in Israel

 

 

"Festival of Bicycles"

By law, there are no radio or television broadcasts on Yom Kippur, airports are shut down, there is no public transportation, and all shops and businesses are closed.[4] In 1973, an air raid siren was sounded on the afternoon of Yom Kippur and radio broadcasts were resumed to alert the public to the surprise attack that launched the Yom Kippur War.

Beyond state-enforced restrictions, it is considered bad form to eat in public on Yom Kippur or drive a motor vehicle. Allowance is only made for ambulances and emergency vehicles. Over the last few decades, bicycle-riding on the empty streets has become a new "tradition" among secular Israeli youngsters, especially on the eve of Yom Kippur.[5] In consequence, Yom Kippur is jocularly referred to as the "Festival of Bicycles." [6] Bicycle sales rise in the weeks before Yom Kippur, and companies have taken to advertising children's bicycles as "Yom Kippur specials."

[edit] Religious themes

 

?This section requires expansion.

The central themes of atonement and repentance. Repentance includes both sins against God and one's fellow man.

[edit] Yom Kippur in the Bible

The Torah calls the day Yom HaKippurim (???? ?????????????) and in Leviticus 23:27 decrees a strict prohibition of work and affliction of the soul upon the tenth day of the seventh month, later known as Tishrei. The rites for Yom Kippur are set forth in the sixteenth chapter of Leviticus (cf. Exodus 30:10; Leviticus 23:27-31, 25:9; Numbers 29:7-11). It is described as a solemn fast, on which no food or drink could be consumed, and on which all work is forbidden.

[edit] Midrashic interpretation

The midrashim described in this section need sources cited from Midrashic literature

Traditionally, Yom Kippur is considered the date on which Moses received the second set of Ten Commandments. It occurred following the completion of the second 40 days of instructions from God. At this same time, the Israelites were granted atonement for the sin of the Golden Calf, hence its designation as the Day of Atonement.[7]

[edit] View of contemporary Biblical scholarship

According to textual scholars, the biblical regulations covering Yom Kippur are spliced together from multiple source texts,[8][9] as indicated by evidence such as with the duplication of the confession over the bullock,[10] and the incongruity in one verse stating that the high priest shouldn't enter the Holy of Holies (with the inference that there are exceptions for certain explicitly identified festivals),[11] and the next verse indicating that they can enter whenever they wish (as long as a specific ritual is carried out first).[12] Although Rashi tried to find a harmonistic explanation for this incongruity, the Leviticus Rabbah maintains that it was indeed the case that the high priest could enter at any time if these rituals were carried out.[13] Textual scholars argue that the ritual is composed from three sources, and a couple of redactional additions[14][15]:

* prerequisite rituals before the high priest can enter the Holy of Holies (on any occasion), namely a sin offering and a whole offering, followed by the filling of the Holy of Holies with a cloud of incense while wearing linen garments[16]

* regulations which establish an annual day of fasting and rest, during which the sanctuary and people are purified, without stating the ritual for doing so[17]; this regulation is very similar to the one in the Holiness Code[18]

* later elaborations of the ceremony,[19] which include the sprinkling of the blood on the mercy seat, and the use of a scapegoat sent to Azazel; the same source also being responsible for small alterations to related regulations[20]

* the redactional additions[21]

According to biblical scholars, the original ceremony was simply the ritual purification of the sanctuary from any accidental ritual impurity, at the start of each new year, as seen in the Book of Ezekiel,[22] which textual scholars date to before the priestly source, but after JE.[23][24] According to the Book of Ezekiel, the sanctuary was to be cleansed by the sprinkling of bullock's blood, on the first day of the first and of the seventh months[25] - near the start of the Civil year and of the Ecclesiastical year, respectively; although the masoretic text of the Book of Ezekiel has the second of these cleansings on the seventh of the first month, biblical scholars regard the Septuagint, which has the second cleaning as being the first of the seventh month, as being more accurate here.[26] It appears that during the period that the Holiness Code and the Book of Ezekiel were written, the new year began on the tenth day of the seventh month,[27][28] and thus biblical scholars believe that by the time the Priestly Code was compiled, the date of the new year and of the day of atonement had swapped around.[29]

[edit] Yom Kippur in Mishnaic and Talmudic Literature

[edit] The Temple service

The following summary of the Temple service is based on the traditional Jewish religious account described in Mishnah tractate Yoma, appearing in contemporary traditional Jewish prayerbooks for Yom Kippur, and studied as part of a traditional Jewish Yom Kippur worship service. [30]

While the Temple was standing in Jerusalem (from Biblical times through 70 C.E.), the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) performed a complex set of special services and sacrifices for Yom Kippur. These services were considered to be the most important parts of Yom Kippur, as through them the Kohen Gadol made atonement for all Jews in the world. During the service, the Kohen Gadol entered the Holy of Holies in the center of the Temple, the only time of the year that anyone went inside. Doing so required special purification and preparation, including five immersions in a mikvah (ritual bath), and four changes of clothing.

Seven days prior to Yom Kippur, the Kohen Gadol was sequestered in the Parhedrin chamber in the Temple, where he reviewed the service with the Temple sages, and was sprinkled with spring water containing ashes of the Red Heifer as purification. The Talmud (Tractate Yoma) also reports that he practiced the incense offering ritual in the Avitnas chamber.

On the day of Yom Kippur, the Kohen Gadol had to follow a precise order of services, sacrifices, and purifications:

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* Morning (Tamid) Offering The Kohen Gadol first performed the regular daily (Tamid) offering - usually performed by ordinary priests - in special golden garments, after immersing in a mikvah and washing his hands and feet.

* Garment Change 1 The Kohen Gadol immersed in a special mikvah in the Temple courtyard and changed into special linen garments, and washed his hands and feet twice, once after removing the golden garments and once before putting on the linen garments.

* Bull as Personal Sin-Offering The Kohen Gadol leaned (performed Semikha) and made a confession over the goat on behalf of himself and his household, pronouncing the Tetragrammaton. The people prostrated themselves when they heard. He then slaughtered the bull as a chatat (sin-offering) and received its blood in a bowl.

* Lottery of the goats At the Eastern (Nikanor) gate, the Kohen Gadol drew lots from a lottery box over two goats. One was selected "for the Lord," and one "for Azazel." The Kohen Gadol tied a red band around the horns of the goat "for Azazel."

* Incense Preparation The Kohen Gadol ascended the mizbeach (altar) and took a shovel full of embers with a special shovel. He was brought incense. He filled his hands and placed it in a vessel. (The Talmud considered this the most physically difficult part of the service, as the Kohen Gadol had to keep the shovelful of glowing coals balanced and prevent its contents from dropping, using his armpit or teeth, while filling his hands with the incense).

* Incense Offering Holding the shovel and the vessel, he entered the Kadosh Hakadashim, the Temple's Holy of Holies. In the days of the First Temple, he placed the shovel between the poles of the Ark of the Covenant. In the days of the Second Temple, he put the shovel where the Ark would have been. He waited until the chamber filled with smoke and left.

* Sprinkling of Blood in the Holy of Holies The Kohen Gadol took the bowl with the bull's blood and entered the Most Holy Place again. He sprinkled the bull's blood with his finger eight times, before the Ark in the days of the First Temple, where it would have been in the days of the Second. The Kohen Gadol then left the Holy of Holies, putting the bowl on a stand in front of the Parochet (curtain separating the Holy from the Holy of Holies).

* Goat for the Lord as Sin-Offering for Kohanim The Kohen Gadol went to the eastern end of the Israelite courtyard near the Nikanor Gate, laid his hands (semikha) on the goat "for the Lord," and pronounced confession on behalf of the Kohanim (priests). The people prostrated themselves when he pronounced the Tetragrammaton. He then slaughtered the goat, and received its blood in another bowl.

* Sprinkling of blood in the Holy Standing in the Hekhal (Holy), on the other side of the Parochet from the Holy of Holies, the Kohen Gadol took the bull's blood from the stand and sprinkled it with his finger eight times in the direction of the Parochet. He then took the bowl with the goat's blood and sprinkled it eight times in the same manner, putting it back on the stand.

* Smearing of blood on the Golden (Incense) Altar The Kohen Gadol removed the goat's blood from the stand and mixed it with the bull's blood. Starting at the northeast corner, he then smeared the mixture of blood on each of the four corners of the Golden (Incense) altar in the Haichal. He then sprinkled the blood eight times on the altar.

* Goat for Azazel The Kohen Gadol left the Haichal and walked to the east side of the Azarah (Israelite courtyard). Near the Nikanor Gate, he leaned his hands (Semikha) on the goat "for Azazel" and confessed the sins of the entire people of Israel. The people prostrated themselves when he pronounced the Tetragrammaton. While he made a general confession, individuals in the crowd at the Temple would confess privately. The Kohen Gadol then sent the goat off "to the wilderness." In practice, to prevent its return to human habitation, the goat was led to a cliff outside Jerusalem and pushed off its edge.

* Preparation of sacrificial animals While the goat "for Azazel" was being led to the cliff, the Kohen Gadol removed the insides of the bull, and intertwined the bodies of the bull and goat. Other people took the bodies to the Beit HaDeshen (place of the ashes). They were burned there after it was confirmed that the goat "for Azazel" had reached the wilderness.

* Reading the Torah After it was confirmed that the goat "for Azazzel" had been pushed off the cliff, the Kohen Gadol passed through the Nikanor Gate into the Ezrat Nashim (Women's Courtyard) and read sections of the Torah describing Yom Kippur and its sacrifices.

* Garment change 2 The Kohen Gadol removed his linen garments, immersed in the mikvah in the Temple courtyard, and changed into a second set of special golden garments. He washed his hands and feet both before removing the linen garments and after putting on the golden ones.

* Offering of Rams The Kohen Gadol offered two rams as an olah offering, slaughtering them on the north side of the mizbeach (outer altar), receiving their blood in a bowl, carrying the bowl to the outer altar, and dashing the blood on the northeast and southwest corners of the Outer Altar. He dismembered the rams and burned the parts entirely on the outer altar. He then offered the accompanying mincha (grain) offerings and nesachim (wine-libations).

* Musaf Offering The Kohen Gadol then offered the Musaf offering.

* Burning of Innards The Kohen Gadol placed the insides of the bull and goat on the outer altar and burned them entirely.

* *Garment change 3 The Kohen Gadol removed his golden garments, immersed in the mikvah, and changed to a new set of linen garments, again washing his hands and feet twice.

* Removal of Incense from the Holy of Holies The Kohen Gadol returned to the Holy of Holies and removed the bowl of incense and the shovel.

* Garment Change 4 The Kohen Gadol removed his linen garments, immersed in the mikvah, and changed into a third set of golden garments, again washing his hands and feet twice.

* Evening (Tamid) Offering The Kohen Gadol completed the afternoon portion of the regular (tamid) daily offering in the special golden garments. He washed his hands and feet a tenth time.

The Kohen Gadol wore five sets of garments (three golden and two white linen), immersed in the mikvah five times, and washed his hands and feet ten times. Sacrifices included two (daily) lambs, one bull, two goats, and two rams, with accompanying mincha (meal) offerings, wine libations, and three incense offerings (the regular two daily and an additional one for Yom Kippur). The Kohen Gadol entered the Holy of Holies three times. The Tetragrammaton was pronounced three times, once for each confession.[31]

[edit] Christians and Yom Kippur

Main article: Day of Atonement (Christian holiday)

In Christianity the phrase Day of Atonement is usually taken to refer to a more singular eschatological event also known as Judgment Day, and most Christians ignore Yom Kippur as they do not consider it to be part of the New Covenant. However, many Christian theologians and scholars acknowledge that there is a strong connection between the two days; for example, one Christian theologian argues that Yom Kippur is the foreshadowing pre-text of Christ's future judgment of mankind.[32]

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Fast Day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is observed on September 14 in the Julian Calendar, roughly coinciding with Yom Kippur (which oscillates with respect to the Julian and Gregorian Calendars). One Orthodox priest ? Rev. Patrick Reardon ? argues that it is obviously derived from Yom Kippur, and that everyone realizes this.[33] The Amish Christians also observe a Fast Day on October 11 in the Gregorian Calendar, which similarly coincides roughly with Yom Kippur.[34]

However, Yom Kippur is most comparative with the Christian holy day of Good Friday. As Yom Kippur is seen as the day for atonement of sins, so is Good Friday depicted as the event which Christ granted humanity atonement through his blood.

[edit] Yom Kippur in Islamic tradition

According to Sunni tradition, When Muhammad arrived in Medina in 622 CE, he found that the Jews there fasted on the 10th day of Muharram and asked them the reason for their fasting on this day. They said, This is a blessed day. On this day Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemy (in Egypt) and so Moses fasted on this day giving thanks to Allah. Muhammad said, We are closer to Musa than you are. He fasted on that day and commanded Muslims to fast on this day. [35] This day is known as Ashura.

The fasting suggests Yom Kippur while the Exodus story suggests Passover. Later, Muhammad mentioned that Muslims would have their sins forgiven if they repented sincerely and fasted on Ashura. There are conflicting accounts as to whether it corresponds with Passover or with Yom Kippur. Furthermore, Ashura no longer generally coincides with either days, since the Quran prohibited intercalation into the lunar calendar,[36] resulting in the gradual shift of the start of the 354 day Islamic year with respect to the solar year, while the lunisolar Hebrew Calendar retains intercalation.

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