Friday, September 17, 2010

A Meaningful Fast

Tonight at sunset is the beginning of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. Observant Jews fast for 24 hours and go to services. It is meant to be a day of prayer, reflection and repentance.

There are three forms or good wishes I see around Yom Kippur every year: a wish for an easy fast, a wish for a meaningful fast, and the more religious Gmar Hatima Tov, a wish that the person receiving the greeting is inscribed in the book of life for good.

While roughly 70% of Israel's Jewish population is categorized as secular I read this week that only 6% refrain from observances during the High Holy Days. I believe it is the same for many American and other diaspora Jews who disregard observance during most of the year. Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are different.

So... if you are observing the Yom Kippur holiday this year, may it be a meaningful fast and a meaningful day for you.

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