Professor explains origins of High Holiday ticketing - Religious Life

Professor explains origins of High Holiday ticketing

Susan Ingram | Special to Jewish News | Posted: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 8:29 am

There’s an old joke about a boy who shows up at a synagogue on Yom Kippur. The usher tells him he can’t come in without a ticket. “But I’m not staying. I just need to talk to my mother,” the boy pleads. “Well, all right,” the usher says. “But if I catch you praying, I’m kicking you out!”

The somewhat irreverent joke speaks to the common practice that many synagogues have of charging for entry on the High Holidays, the most sacred Jewish days of the year — days on which Jews who aren’t especially observant flock to local synagogues in large numbers. A synagogue that has trouble getting a minyan on weekends suddenly sees its pews swell with unfamiliar faces come Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

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