My uncle and his boyfriend have a Yom Kippur ritual: First they go to a nice lunch in Manhattan, and then they see a Broadway show. I’ve always loved that story because it’s so Jewish: They could go see The Producers or The Boy From Oz any time, but it wouldn’t be as special on any other day. Even for Jews with no interest in religion, the Day of Atonement has a kind of power.
You can find Broadway tickets here, but if you’re going to try to engage with the holiday on its own terms, you’re better off with our custom events listings. Pick your typehippie, hipster, Super-Jew, intellectual, alternaparent, swinging singleand follow the links to find a Yom Kippur event tailored to your own needs.
Yom Kippur doesn’t let you get away with sitting passively in an audience, though: You’ve got to suffer. In “Should I Fast for Yom Kippur?” Sarah Goldstein’s ambivalence about fasting leads her to consult rabbis, doctors, and an eating disorder specialist in order to determine whether it really helps to give up food for 24 hours in the name of atonement. And in “My Failed Quest for Forgiveness,” Marty Beckerman humbles himself in front of nine people he’d previously offended, only to find that most had no interest in forgiving him.
If you do want your Yom Kippur filtered through the gentle gauze of pop culture, check out recommendations for atonement movies, music, and books by two Slate critics and a literary blogger. You can crank “If I Could Turn Back Time” whenever you want, but it just won’t mean as much on any other day.
Lastly, visit our atonement forum to tell usanonymously, of courseabout what actions you’re regretting from 5767. If you can confess online, then it’s not such a huge step to making things right with those you’ve wronged.