For many of us, Yom Kippur is the most significant and profound holiday in the Jewish calendar year. It’s 25 hours of prayer, fasting and afflictions of the self to better focus on apologizing and repenting for sins against each other and God.

Hannah Kearney
Hannah Kearney (Courtesy photo)

This festival of forgiveness (hopefully, anyway!) has been observed for thousands of years, but what’s the origin story of this most important day? How did the wilderness of the biblical desert shape the Jews as a people? How has history shaped how Yom Kippur evolved to its present incarnation? And what, or who, is Azazel?

Join Miriam and Dan as they explore all these questions and more with guest expert Hannah Kearney.

Kearney is pursuing her master’s degree in Jewish educational leadership through Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion and is the director of Havayah, the teen community at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley. You can tune in to her podcast-style recordings with Rabbi Alan Ullman, called “Text Messages,here.

Edited by Jesse Ulrich, with music by Ryan J. Sullivan.