Embrace the Paradox and Rejoice!

Tonight, Jews throughout the world will solemnly “afflict” their souls during Yom Kippur. However, most kids in Israel look at Yom Kippur as “ride your bikes in the streets day!” You see, Yom Kippur in Israel is the one day when TV and radio stations are completely shut down and the streets are almost completely void of vehicles of any kind. Ironically, some of the only fully operational locations in Israel on Yom Kippur are the hospital emergency rooms – since kids who finally have no restraints on their bikes, skateboards, and roller skates tend to take risks they wouldn't normally take – it's Yom Kippur – they have the streets to themselves!

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Crown Your Mind!

The high priest of Ancient Israel wore a crown of pure gold on his head called a Nezer, which comes from the word “nazar”. This word "nazar" means to dedicate, consecrate and sacredly separate. The word “nazarite” comes from this root, and describes someone who has taken a vow to be separated from the world.

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What is that awful smell?!

As we celebrated Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) and are in the midst of "Yamin Noraim" or the days of awe, the days between the Feast of Trumpets and Yom Kippur, it is the season of repentance.

This is the season that the shofar (rams horn) is blown to heed the call of warning to repent from our sins and be clean. The shofar's unique sounding blast is a wake-up call to all who will hear.

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We're in the midst of Awesome Days!

Between Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur are ten days. These days are known as "Yamim Noraim", "the Days of Awe" -- or also translated, the "Awesome days". In Judaism it has been long believed that these days seal your fate for the upcoming year -- and also allude to your final destiny, concerning whether your name continues to be written in the Book of Life.

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So Little Time and So Much to Do!

This weekend begins the Biblical festival of Rosh Ha Shana. What's interesting about Rosh Ha Shana (the Jewish celebration of the New Year), is that it doesn't fall on the first day of the first month. It actually falls on the first day of the seventh month! It's difficult for outsiders to understand this concept, but if we study how the Jewish year begins and how God is outlining this age according to the Jewish feasts it all makes sense.

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