Rabbi Says Yom Kippur is a Way to Reconnect

Published: Friday, October 7, 2011 7:00 am By: Redmond Zmudzien Source: The Daily Dobbs Ferry - Main Street Connect

Rabbi Kenter photo by Redmond Zmudzien

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. – Jews in Dobbs Ferry, Hastings and surrounding villages are preparing to celebrate Yom Kippur, perhaps the holiest day of the Jewish year.

Rabbi Barry Kenter of the Greenburgh Hebrew Center said he expects a full house at the series of Yom Kippur services, which begin Friday night with Kol Nidre, the name of the song-text that begins the service. The phrase “kol nidre” means “all vows.” It essentially declares that all vows made with God be annulled if we fail to live up to them.

“It resonates with people since childhood and family services,” Kenter said.  “I think it’s a way of people connecting to God in a serious way, kind of refocusing at least once a year.”

Kenter said the day is important to himself and the congregation because it brings people together if only for a short time.

“It’s a way of connecting with the Jewish community, connecting with the Jewish past, present and future,” he said.  “I think it’s a wonderful time for people just to step away from the technology and step away from email and Twitter and all that and to focus inward and then focus outward on how they can make a difference walking out of this particular day.”

Yom Kippur means Day of Atonement. All Jews - except for children and the ill - are expected to fast. The fast will be "broken" at sundown Saturday. In addition, all Jews are taught to reflect on their behavior during the previous year and seek God’s forgiveness. Before the service, they should seek reconciliation with people whom they might have wronged.

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