Yom Kippur

“Yom Kippur is the holiday after Rosh Hashanah, which is the Jewish New Year. It is celebrated exactly 10 days after Rosh Hashanah every year. Growing up, my family always went to temple for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to celebrate the holidays and fullfil their purpose. Yom Kippur is a holiday that allows the Jewish people to think about their mishaps and their sins and improve yourself in the coming year. In temple, we were always given a couple minutes to have self-reflection, but what my family did differently was we also did it afterwards at the break fast. On top of self-reflection, we had a tradition of passing around a roll of challah, each taking a piece, and then once everybody had a piece, we would throw it at each other.”

“There is a common tradition in Jewish culture that does something similar to this. People usually put a piece of bread into a bowl of water as a sign of repenting their sins. I guess you could say that this is my families version of that.”

“None of my family is super religious, but we do follow the general holidays and ideologies of our religion. Like, we go to temple for major holidays and have a Passover Seder, but nobody turns off all their technology and walk to work like you are supposed to on Shabbat.  I guess this tradition can be looked at as the reformed version of the other bread in water tradition, just like we are the reformed version of the Jewish people.”


My Interpretations of the story:


I personally enjoy the fact that this family has taken a broader tradition and altered it slightly to personalize it. With this being said, it is important to note that by doing this, the tradition isn’t technically the tradition it was before. While there are certain aspects that remain consistent, there are reasons for the original tradition being the way it is. In changing or altering the tradition, many important parts of the tradition can be lost and therefor change its meaning or purpose. In this specific case, the tradition is supposed be a symbol of repenting for your sins, while the rendition version seems like more of a fun, family bonding experience. Traditions, when applied to specific cultures, have much history going into their making, purpose, and requirements, and can be somewhat exclusive to their specific culture. When these traditions are altered and spread to others, the cultural uniqueness can be lost in addition to the ultimate goal of the tradition.