Jewish students observe Yom Kippur


Canaan Estes

Canaan Estes and Tali Kalmans, both seniors and Jewish students, attend services at Congregation Emanu El.

Preston Herleth, Staff Writer

G’mar Chatima Tovah—May you be well sealed and signed into the Book of Life—גמר חתימה טובה.

This greeting corresponds with the Rosh Hashanah holiday that Jewish members of the Kinkaid community have been observing this Wednesday and the past week.

On the new year, Rosh Hashanah, which occurred last Sunday and Monday on the first day in the Hebrew month of Tishrei, the Jewish community acknowledges Hashem, which means God. The community believes Hashem opens his book of life to inscribe his people’s fate for the upcoming year. On Yom Kippur, which is the 10th day in Tishrei, that fate is sealed and the book is closed.

“I’m ready for a fresh start honestly,” sophomore Eva Humble said. “Tomorrow is about atonement.”

Yom Kippur is the most crucial holiday in the entire Jewish year. This year is 5783. 

Participants will spend hours reflecting on and expressing sorrow for their wrongdoings since last September.

Community members participating in Yom Kippur attend services Tuesday night and day services Wednesday. Children above bar/bat mitzvah age are required to fast from sunset Tuesday to nightfall Wednesday.

“Males above 13 and females above 12 are considered bar or bat mitzvahs, so they are seen as adults, meaning they can choose to fast on certain days,” senior Canaan Estes said.

Therefore, this Wednesday, students will not be eating or drinking, including brushing their teeth, for 25 hours.

On Wednesday night, large and filling meals will be eaten to break the fast.

“Finally being able to take a sip of water and taste food again is extremely rewarding knowing your repentance was well-preserved and thought over all week,” Estes said.

From Beth Israel and Beth Yeshurun to Emanu El and Chabad, students at Kinkaid exhibit a variety of denominations and beliefs. 

“Although many people chose to fast and attend all services, some Jewish families chose a more reformed approach and may not fast or attend services, and that is the amazing thing because everyone is still Jewish and participating,” junior Rina Miriam Presley said.