The Time Honored Garment
A Yom Kippur /
Thanksgiving Service

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Young Man/Samuel
Merchant/Ben David
4 Dinner Party Members

Characters process into the sanctuary in costume. Rebecca, Azariah and Samuel sit at a small table in the front corner of the sanctuary. The setting is simple with a single candle, and some bread and glasses. Ben David and four other dinner party members sit at a large table in the center of the front of the sanctuary. There is lots of bread and fruit and wine on the tables and these people come in laughing and being merry. They sit and laugh and talk (silently) until the prelude ends.

While lighting the candles on the table. Ben David lights the chalice in front of the large table.
Ba-RUKH a-TA a dow-NAI El-oHay-ne ME-lekh ha-oLAM, a-SHER kid-e-SHA-nu b’-mitz-vo-TAV V’tzi-VA-nu- le-had-LIK nair shel yom-TOV.


Good Morning. My name is ___________________. Along with (musical person) and our two Jewish families, I welcome you to the Yom Kippur / Thanksgiving service at the (name of church). Samuel just sang the Shabbat blessing as our chalice was lit. This is a blessing that takes place before dinner every Friday in many Jewish homes. The words of he blessing mean:

In Unison

Praise be to God, King of the Universe,
Who blesses us with good teaching and
Commands us to light holiday candles.

Shabbat is a time for saying thank you for all the good things in life and celebrating the joy of being alive. I hope you brought bread to share for our communion celebration later in the service. And, as usual, I hope you can join us for more refreshments and conversation in (gathering place) after the service. If you are visiting today, welcome. Please be at home here. Sign the register, have some coffee, and speak with knowledgeable church members.

In this religious community we come together pledging to respect one another while engaging in the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. Our programs are as diverse as the needs and interests of our members and friends. Please read the order of service, check the announcement board, pick up a copy of our monthly newsletter and join every activity you find of interest.

Now, please take a moment to greet those seated next to you.

HYMN 215 "Praise to the Living God"

Once there was a wood cutter named Azariah. He and his wife, Rebecca, were poor, but not unhappy, for they were kind, honest and respected by their neighbors. When their son was born, everyone brought gifts. (Rebecca unwraps some packages of bright material inside) One relative sent them a few yards of the most expensive and beautiful material in the world. Rebecca, locked it away and said:

When my son is a man, I will send him out into the world in a wonderful robe made of this material.

The baby, Samuel, grew into a sweet and smart boy, but because they were poor, he was always dressed in ragged clothing. (Samuel walks to the center in ragged clothing, down to where the center table with Ben David sits) One day, Ben David, a rich merchant invited everyone in town to a feast. Among the guests was Azariah’s son, now grown. But when he arrived looking, as usual, a little tattered, no one said, "Hello," and nobody made room for him at the table. (All the guests at the table try to turn their back on Samuel when we tries to introduce himself). Nor did they invite him to eat. Feeling sad, the young man went home (Samuel returns home to the small table in the corner) and told his mother what happened.

Don’t be unhappy. Wait, I have only a few more stitches and the robe I am making for you will be finished. It is so beautiful, everyone will bow down to you.

So his mother finished the robe she was making from the material they had received when he was born and she was very pleased with how handsome he looked in it. Then the young man went back to the feast now dressed in the finest of robes. And as soon as Ben David saw him he got up, bowed before the boy, and said,

Come sit beside me and eat and drink as much as you like.

Before the young man sat down he took off his magnificent robe, then he held the robe over the food and said,

Eat, robe! Eat all you want!

Everyone was startled. And Ben David asked,

Why are you talking to your robe?

And Samuel replied,

The first time I came to your feast, I was dressed in tattered clothing. Then you paid no attention to me. Nobody asked me to sit down and eat. But when I arrived in my fancy outfit, you treated me royally. That’s why I told my robe to eat. It was my wonderful clothes, not me, you were happy to see. So to me, even the sweetest of things on your table tastes bitter!

At that, Samuel left and went back to his humble but proud home. And the rich man was ashamed, for he knew that the youth had spoken the truth.

HYMN 216 "Hashiveinu"

The feast had taken place in the spring and Ben David’s treatment of the young man weighed upon his conscience. Then summer came and the days were warm. (Ben David walks around the sanctuary and passes the home of Samuel and his family and thinks of going to knock, but resists and turns away). Ben David forgot about the spring feast until he would pass Samuel on the street. Then he would remember how he had ignored the young man until he arrived wearing the splendid robe. And again Ben David would feel ashamed, but he was too proud to say, "I’m sorry."

As the fall came and Yom Kippur approached, Ben David thought about the young man everyday. Yom Kippur is also known as the "Day of Atonement" and it is that time of year when we do what we can to set right the wrongs that we have done. And he knew what he must do because it is written: "For transgressions against God, Yom Kippur provides atonement; for offenses against your neighbor, the Day of Atonement does not provide atonement until you seek the pardon of those you have offended." (Ben David goes to the chalice) Ben David went to the temple everyday and spent the hours fasting and praying. Let us join him prayer and silence for certainly each of us is sorry for some of the things we have done against others in this past year.


Dear God, who dwells within, amongst and beyond us this very day.... Help us be as good and kind in our hearts as we would like to be. Give us the wisdom to see what is right when we have done wrong, and the strength to say, "I’m sorry," to those we have hurt. And forgive us when we fail but never let us stop trying to be the good people we were born to be, each day of our lives.




As the end of the day approached, Ben David knew what he had to do. He went to Samuel who was with his parents in the small house. When he found Samuel, he bowed down to him and asked his forgiveness. And Samuel listened to Ben David. And after Samuel listened, he said:

For the time you did not welcome me to your table, I forgive you.

And Ben David said,

For the time I did not welcome you to my table, I forgive myself.

And together they said,

We begin again in love.


We all need to forgive ourselves when we have hurt someone, to forgive others when they have hurt us, and to begin again in love. Please find a partner you can face as we share our litany of atonement, together, this morning.

For all the times it would have been a good idea to speak up and we were silent
I forgive myself, I forgive you, we begin again in love.
For each time we have been afraid and gotten angry with others of fled instead of saying, "I’m scared."
I forgive myself, I forgive you, we begin again in love.
For each time we have said or done mean things for no good reason.
I forgive myself, I forgive you, we begin again in love.
For each time that our selfishness has made us forget the needs of others.
I forgive myself, I forgive you, we begin again in love.
For falling short of being the very best that we can be.
I forgive myself, I forgive you, we begin again in love.
For forgetting we are all part of one family.
I forgive myself, I forgive you, we begin again in love.
For those and for so many things big and small that make it seem we are separate.
I forgive myself, I forgive you, we begin again in love.

Ben David’s heart felt lighter because he had become more of the person he wanted to be - more true to himself, his values and his God. And being more the person he wanted to be he was happy and his heart opened to all the world around him, so he invited Samuel and his parents to his home to celebrate the feast that marks the end of Yom Kippur.

BREAD SERVICE [Adapted from John Robinson]

Our own Thanksgiving is a time of celebration and how much more joyful we can be when we accept who we are, recommitted ourselves to becoming who we wish to be, and sought reconciliation with those we have hurt. The cracks in our lives always show, but our efforts can make us whole, and being whole deepen our ability to rejoice. SO we gather as a community in Thanksgiving for all that is and in hope for all that might be. As we gather together, we also bring all that we are - ourselves and our traditions. We are as distinct from one another as a muffin is from matzo, as different as a scone is from challah. Yet behind all our differences we are one people, one family. May the bread broken today symbolize the brokenness that makes us whole.

Will those who brought bread please come forward
(Participants help cut bread and place in baskets ready to redistribute after blessing)

The ingredients of this bread include: corn, wheat, rice - symbolizing the staff and strength of life; water - representing freshness and purity; yeast - raising the spirit; sugar - providing for the growth of the yeast; salt - setting limits for the growth of the yeast; eggs - enriching and enlivening the texture of the bread. All these ingredients are mixed, kneaded, raised, punched down for a finer quality, and then baked and cooled. Our common table is now laden with the breads of our many heritages, our many strains brought together. But bread, like life, must be broken to be whole, to fulfill a purpose. To embrace and nourish the bitter sweetness of life. Let us bless this bread together.


We bless these loaves,
We bless this bread we have in common with one another
and with people all over the earth.
We bless the events, people, places and circumstances of our lives
that feed us, sustain us, and nourish us.


[Ushers distribute juice while music plays]


AZARIAH: (Adapted from Howard Thurman)
Today I give thanks,
I begin with the simple things:
Fresh air to breathe,
Cool water to drink,
The taste of bread,
The protection of home.

For these things I give thanks.
I bring to mind
Loving arms,
The strength of companions,
The tears I have shed, and the tears I have caused;
The sound of laughter and the twinkle in the eye with its reminder that life is good.
For all these I give thanks.
I remember messages of hope:
The tightening grip of a hand upon my own when I feared the dark.
The simple word of support when my decision hung in the balance,
Those who were willing to listen to my dreams, accept my gifts and share my love.,
The big hope that never quite deserts me, that I and my kind will study war no more, and that love and tenderness and all the inner graces of Almighty affection will cover the life of the children of God as the waters cover the sea.
For all these and more than mind can think and heart can feel,
I give thanks this day.

HYMN 406 "Let Us Break Bread Together"


CLOSING WORDS (Adapted from Burton Carley)
May the meditation of our hearts, the hymns of our spirits, the wisdom of our thoughts and the joy of our worship, nurture us in the week ahead, so that we may live our lives with love, courage and thanksgiving. Shalom.

CLOSING SONG "Hava Nagila"