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Chappaqua Rabbi Prepares for Yom Kippur

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – Jews in Chappaqua are preparing to celebrate Yom Kippur, perhaps the holiest day of the Jewish year.

Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson of Temple Beth El in Chappaqua said he expects a full house at Yom Kippur services, which begin Friday evening 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.

"For Jews all over the world, Yom Kippur is considered the holiest of days," Davidson said. "We search ourselves to envision what we would like the coming year to be for us so we can become the best, most caring, most thoughtful people we can be."

Yom Kippur services at Temple Beth El will begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday evening with day services being held on Saturday.

"I think that Yom Kippur for all Jews, even those that don't attend service regularly find Yom Kippur to be the time they want to be around other Jews, in the synagogue and praying for a good, sweet, healthy, and happy new year," Davidson said.

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 members of the Jewish community 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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