High Holidays | Local

Goat at Yom Kippur family service – no kidding!

Children will be able to release their sins the really old-fashioned way by sending them away with a goat at Temple Emanu-El’s Yom Kippur morning family service, Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 8:30 a.m.

During Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, repentance is achieved by prayer, repentance, and fasting, but in ancient times, repentance involved a goat. The High Priest would take two goats, sacrifice one as a sin offering, and lay hands on the other, the “scapegoat,” transferring all the peoples’ sins to the animal. That second goat would be sent off into the wilderness. At Temple Emanu-El’s service, children will have an opportunity to whisper their transgressions into the ear of a goat, which will be sent back home.  No animals will be harmed in the process.

ASL interpretation is also available at this service.

Temple Emanu-El’s “Be Our Guest” program offers visitors and guests open access to High Holy Days services.  Call 327-4501 to reserve admission cards and (for security reasons) be prepared to show a photo ID. No financial contribution or commitment to membership will be required of anyone who has not previously taken advantage of this program.