This Shabbat, we bless the new month of Av, which gives us the opportunity to reflect on an old, pious custom: the keeping of Yom Kippur Katan (a “Minor” Yom Kippur, the day before the new month). When the new month begins on Shabbat, Yom Kippur Katan happens on Thursday.
The idea, promulgated around the 16th century CE, is to reflect and atone on a monthly scale, as opposed to the grander repentance of Yom Kippur. Liturgically, the S’lihot service is said, and this prayer, with its images of mercy and forgiveness, is drawn from S’lihot. This setting was sung live by Cantor Schwartz and his son, Daniel Schwartz, this past Yom Kippur.
To look at repentance as an obligation is to miss the opportunity to find areas in our lives which we want to make better. This summer, a time of rest and renewal, is there something in your life that you want to renew, to make better? Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom.
Music: Siroto Collection, arr. Stephen Glass
Music Director: David Enlow
AV: Oscar Acevedo, Erik Van Batavia, Russell Miller