Taking the Next Difficult Step is Easier Than I Thought. On a recent vacation, I decided to try rock climbing on the simulated rock wall. I had never done it, but watched several people in front of me, some succeeding to the top and some quitting part way up. With each one I could, I asked how they did it or what stopped them from finishing, trying to learn whatever might help me make it high enough to ring the little bell at the top, announcing my success.
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Among the more well-known but most controversial High Holiday customs is Kaparot, which usually involves swinging a chicken over one’s head as a form of penance. Although, as this article shows, the custom was opposed by many Jewish sages, it is still practiced today in many traditionalist communities. This article is excerpted with permission from Entering the High Holy Days. Reprinted with permission from the Jewish Publication Society.