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The holiest day of Jewish year, Yom Kippur, begins Friday night

Students, faculty and staff will observe the holiday together on campus  

Elon University students, faculty, staff and community members will come together for the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur, which begins at sundown on Friday, Sept. 29, and ends Saturday, Sept. 30.

Many people know most Jews don’t eat or drink for 25 hours on Yom Kippur. Also called the Day of Atonement, it is designated as a sacred day of self-denial, a day focused on asking forgiveness and repentance.

Jews around the world observe this holy day in many different ways; most come together for prayer and worship, but others engage in meditation and quiet renewal, and others merely take the opportunity to take a break from their day to day lives and look inward.

On Yom Kippur, Jews attend worship services where the machz­or, a special prayer book used during holy days, is read. At the end of the services, a sho­far (ram's horn) is blown to signal the end of Yom Kippur. When the sun sets on Saturday, Jews will break the fast with a celebratory meal.

Services at Elon will take place Friday night and Saturday morning and evening in the Sacred Space at the Numen Lumen Pavilion, led by students, Rabbi Meir Goldstein, and Cantor Katy Claussen. Services are free and do not require reservations, and the community is welcome to attend.

Friday night services, called Kol Nidre, will begin at 6:45 p.m. and will be a blend of traditional and contemporary styles. Saturday morning’s contemporary Yom Kippur services begin at 10 a.m. at the sacred space in the Numen Lumen Pavilion, and at 6:45 p.m. the community will gather for a more traditional service for Neilah.

On Yom Kippur, Saturday, Sept. 30, the Sklut Hillel Center will be open all day on Yom Kippur, and students are invited to drop in anytime.

Also on Saturday, in the Oasis Room, which is upstairs in the Numen Lumen Pavilion, Elon Hillel will be offering a gentle yoga and meditation session at 2 p.m., and two open forums for students to ask clergy questions about holidays, religion, and life in general – Ask the Rabbi at 3:15 p.m. and Ask the Priest with our own Father Peter at 4:15 p.m.

The traditional Break the Fast meal will take place at 7:36 p.m., after sunset on Saturday, in the McBride Gathering space in the Numen Lumen Pavilion.

We wish all Jewish students, faculty, and staff a G'mar Hatima Tova, and an easy fast.

Hillary Zaken,
9/29/2017 3:25 PM