Holidays / Yom Kippur / Yom Kippur Readings

Blessing For Anyone Who Isn't Jewish ('Cause We Know This Is A Lot)

-Inspired by Rabbi Janet Marder

So here is the thing, half of the Jewish families that we know are headed by a couple where one of them is not Jewish. And we think eureka! That is great! Why isn’t there a blessing for that person who is not Jewish but participating in a Jewish home/life! And… there is! And we love it and hope you do too!

First line: May everyone who shares in a Jewish life feel welcome and integrated. Last line: With all our hearts, we want to thank you for your love and willingness in giving the ultimate gift to the Jewish people. Amen…

Forgive Yourself

-Maya Angelou

This is an exquisite reading about forgiving yourself. Something we can all do better. It is easy to see why Maya Angelou was one of Barack Obama’s favorite poets.

First line: I don’t know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. Last line: If we don’t have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as hell, we should never teach…

Kol Nidre

-Evan M. Rosenberg

First line: A proclamation of humanity: I will try and I will fail. Last line: I may fail, but I will try with all my heart…

Hurt People Hurt People

-Yehuda Berg

This is a super short but poignant reading about pain and patterns. Worth checking out.

First line: Hurt people hurt people. Last line: Love is the weapon of the future…


-Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the long list of things we want to change about ourselves (after all, we really are our own worst critics). Check out what Rami M. Shapiro, an award-winning writer and speaker on Judaism and spirituality, has to say about his own list…

First line: Here I am. Last line: Heenaynee – Here I am!…

Why Forgive?

-Johann Christoph Arnold

Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting or ignoring wrongdoings, but it’s still so important if we want to feel better.

First line: Forgiveness is a door to peace and happiness. Last line: Forgiveness is a catalyst creating the atmosphere necessary for a fresh start and a new beginning…

Get Up

-Rabbi Allen Maller

Totally powerful reading! One of the best for the new year.

First line: O Lord, sometimes I feel sad, useless. Last line: Staying on the floor is…

For The Sin We Committed

-Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins

Try to read this with some call and response group interaction. Like the men can read the italics and the women read the non-italics, or everyone under 35 read italics and over 35 read the non-italics. You get the idea. The content of this reading is a little “damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” but really, isn’t that how much of life is?

First line: For the sin we committed by not serving our community. Last line: And for the sin we committed by not loving ourselves and not caring enough for ourselves…

A Rebbi's Proverb

-Danny Siegel

This to-the-point commentary on how to treat others is short and beautiful.

First line: If you always assume the one sitting next to you is the Messiah waiting for some simple human kindness you will soon come to weigh your words and watch your hands. Last line: And if the Messiah so chooses not to be revealed in your time it will not matter…

I Hereby Forgive

-Author Unknown

Beautiful sentiments for Yom Kippur and whenever we think about forgiveness.

First line: Whoever has hurt me or has done me any wrong. Last line: Be my inspirations for the coming year…

Deeds Of Love

-Author Unknown

This short story, which takes place during the time of the destruction of the second Temple in Jerusalem (sometime around 70 B.C.E.), is a reminder that love and kindness have always been among the best ways to bolster humanity. (If you’re not sure what we mean by destruction of the Second Temple, it’s worth Googling when you have a few minutes, especially if you like ancient history.)

First line: Once, when Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai was leaving Jerusalem, Rabbi Joshua was walking behind him and saw the Temple in ruins. Last line: And what is it? It is deeds of love, as it is said, “For I desire kindness and not sacrifice”…

Ask For And Bestow Forgiveness

-Rami M. Shapiro

Death, life, hurt, forgiveness… Life can be kind of a roller coaster. Check out what Rami M. Shapiro, an award-winning writer and speaker on Judaism and spirituality, has to say.

First line: I acknowledge before the source of all that life and death are not in my hands. Last line: As a wave returns to the ocean, I return to the source from which I came…

Forgive, Forgive, Forgive

-Author Unknown

Yes, this reading is perfect for Yom Kippur, but truthfully, we should probably all be doing a lot of forgiveness year-round. The title of this reading says it all: ask forgiveness, forgive others, and forgive yourself. It’s harder than it sounds, but the payoff is BIG.

First line: If I have harmed anyone in any way either knowingly or unknowingly through my own confusions, I ask their forgiveness. Last line: For all the ways that I harm myself, negate, doubt, belittle myself, judge or be unkind to myself through my own confusions, I forgive myself…

Yom Kippur Short But Sweet

-Multiple Authors

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