Yom Kippur

I wish those celebrating Yom Kippur an easy fast, as the traditional greeting says. And I invite anyone interested to discuss the notion of atonement on this Jewish “Day of Atonement” – it seems as good a time as any to chat about the topic!

Christians, if you need some food for thought, then take a look at Paula Fredriksen’s piece in the Huffington Post entitled “Yom Kippur: WWJD?” (HT Brian LePort).


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  • Susan Burns

    I think Yom Kippur together with Sukkot are ancient agricultural rituals that only later became associated with the wanderings of the Israelites in the Sinai. Perhaps they were well established in the floodplain (kikur) of the Jordan Valley before the arrival of Moses. The kikur is a basin-type irrigation system that captured silt and organic matter from the Hermon watershed. Unlike the Nile kikur, the Jordan river descends rapidly so the sedimentation became depleted over time. As the harvest diminished, the religious rituals became more and more complex. IMHO the kippur (silt covering) was thought to be in direct porportion to the ritualized behaviour of the previous year.