A s Rabbi Levi Krinsky and Rabbi Shmuel Friedman prepared for Yom Kippur at Chabad of New Hampshire Tuesday afternoon, they took a few minutes to explain the significance of Judaism’s Day of Atonement.
“Every year is a lot of soul-searching,” Krinsky said.
“We retread, we examine how we involved ourselves with our community,” Friedman said. “Atonement in Judaism is different than in other denominations and religions. It’s not a magical thing — it requires someone to understand regret, and the steps they take to fill it, the small steps of improvement.”
At Temple Adath Yeshurun, Rabbi Beth Davidson is preparing for the full day of services on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar.
“It is a day of intense internal reflection and atoning for anything we may have done wrong to God,” Davidson explained.
This year’s holy day falls a few weeks before the anniversary of a shooting that killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue. Krinsky said he will be thinking about security, but said the holiday presented an opportunity to feel strong as a congregation.
“We have to fortify ourselves, strengthen ourselves and believe in humanity,” he said. “When we pull together we’re stronger.”
Friedman said security will not be the focus of the day.
“We are taking practical steps in terms of security, but at the same time we bear in mind that the security and protection of the Jewish people is not through metal detectors or weapons—it is a godly protection,” Friedman said.
Observant Jews fast on Yom Kippur, and will not eat or drink until the sun goes down on Wednesday.
On Thursday morning, Davidson said, Temple Adath Yeshurun will join several churches in Manchester in bringing food to the New Horizons shelter. The annual “Religious Response to Hunger” food drive has become its own tradition, Davidson said.
“We go hungry by choice,” Davidson said of the Yom Kippur fast. “It sensitizes us to those for whom hunger is not a choice.”