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Poem celebrates soul cleansing of Yom Kippur

Sandra Armstrong, a member of the Congregation Sof Ma’arav on the Pali Highway, has written a poem in honor of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.

Yom Kippur marks the conclusion of Rosh Hashanah or new year holidays. It began yesterday evening and ends tonight.

Armstrong, a special education teacher at Kailua Elementary School, wrote "The Shofar," which is traditionally a ram’s horn blown to "awaken our eternal souls in the New Year," she said. It follows:

"The sound of the Shofar shatters our souls. We hear the blasts as they reverberate into our bones.

"Everything that we are falls apart at our feet, all our perceptions, ideas, outer skin limitations, and we stand in a puddle of deep reflection. Throughout the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we walk around in the pool of our mistakes, doubts, and fears, chunks of our soul.

"We slowly, ever so slowly begin to look at our lives in a new way. How can we fit the pieces of ourselves into new patterns and change our very being of who we are?

"The pool of reflection glistens at our feet, sparkling with the hope of who we wish to be. As we approach the Day of Atonement these internal pieces start moving back into place. Pieces of our soul reconnect and reunite into meaningful combinations, new combinations of ourselves.

"The Shofar blasts again as nightfall settles on Yom Kippur. It is the signal for our final completion, for on this sacred holiday, our souls have been cleansed, twisted, turned, and pressed into the most purest of human forms."


Kailua church offers workshops on adult religion

Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Kailua is offering a five-week education series, "Embracing an Adult Faith," beginning 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The classes will include a 20-minute video featuring Dr. Marcus Borg talking about God, Jesus, salvation, community and prayer. The video will be followed by guided discussion and study. There is a $15 charge for the course workbook, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

"In the faith of my childhood, God was like a super Santa Claus and Jesus was my imaginary friend," said the Rev. Kate Lewis of Emmanuel. "That’s why by the time I was 20, I’d given up on religion. It just didn’t seem to work in the real world."

After college, Lewis said, she "stumbled back into a church and discovered that Christianity was actually stronger and more relevant" than she had ever imagined.

For more information call 262-4548 or visit


Teen cites faith in refusal to remove nose piercing

RALEIGH, N.C. » A North Carolina teenager suspended from school because of a pierced nose says it’s more than a matter of fashion: It’s a matter of faith.

Ariana Iacono has been suspended from Clayton High School in Johnston County since last week because she won’t remove a stud from her left nostril.

Iacono and her mother, Nikki, belong to the Church of Body Modification, which believes tattoos, piercings and the like bring people close to the divine.

Johnston County schools forbid facial piercings. Ariana faces long-term suspension if she doesn’t remove the ring.

The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has contacted the school system. They warn the policy infringes on the family’s rights.


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