Today was full of fun facts! I thought I'd share them with all of you:
1. Just like any language, you can pronounce Hebrew words many different ways. I grew up saying "Yom kipper," I generally hear "Yom Ki-POOR," and today I heard, "Yom KEE-por." And while I never heard the phrase "Shana tova" until this year, I've heard it pronounced two ways: "SHA-na TOE-va" and "shi-NA toe-VAH."
2. It is traditional to wear all white on Yom Kippur. I guess the Jewish calendar doesn't include Labor Day and its fashion rules.
3. You're not supposed to wear leather shoes on Yom Kippur because they are seen as a luxury item (just like colored cloth, I suppose). So a lot of people wear sneakers and TOMS (which, by the way, I can't stand. SO ugly!).
4. A woman can wear a tallis (or tallit), too, which I had never seen before. While most of the men wore tradition tallitot (white with blue strips and some sort of design made with metallic-colored thread), the designs women wore were more artistic, with flowers, city scapes, etc, and in all sorts of colors!
5. The person (usually a man) who sings the prayers is called a "chuzzan."