September 22, 2015, - 3:57 pm

Yom Kippur 2015: To All Of My Friends & Readers, Jew & Gentile . . .

By Debbie Schlussel


Israeli Soldiers & Other Jews Praying @ Israel’s Kotel (Western Wall)

Tonight, the Jewish fast day of Yom Kippur begins at sundown (and ends at nightfall tomorrow/Wednesday Night). It’s a day of atonement for our sins and a day full of prayer to G-d*, asking for forgiveness and a good year.

Yom Kippur is one of the holiest Jewish holidays, at the end of which we believe our fate for the next year is “sealed” by G-d. We believe that on Rosh HaShanah, which was last week, that fate is written by Him, and on Yom Kippur, He issues His final Judgment. This is Judgment Day for the Jewish people. In Hebrew, Judgment Day is “Yom HaDin.” In Arabic and Islam, Yom HaDin also means, “Judgment Day,” but for them, they believe it encompasses being a martyr, murdering all of us Infidels (or forcibly converting us), and meeting up with the 72 Helen Thomases. In contrast, our Judgment Day just involves prayer and repentance, including giving to charity, not blowing up body parts of others.

On Yom Kippur, we fast and pray for about 25 hours to ask G-d for a good year. Before the fast, we eat a big, sumptuous meal, which expands the stomach and makes the fast more difficult. During the holiday, there are strict prohibitions: no food, drink, shower, sex, TV/radio, phone, etc. the whole day, which is mostly spent at synagogue. The idea is that you are removing yourself from worldly and material concerns and focusing on deeper, far more important, spiritual ones, the most important of which is repentance for your sins.

We also don’t wear leather shoes, as back in the day, those were a luxury of the wealthy, and the holiday is not about ostentatious or material displays, but about humble requests before G-d. Like last year, my comfy ASICS GT-2000s await my feet. It is ironic because those shoes are far more comfortable than any leather shoes I own, so this is really not a “sacrifice” like it would have been, back in the day.

I am going to faster services tonight and tomorrow, and so in the little free time that I have, I plan to read some books on Jewish American history, including some books written by Jewish American soldiers serving in World War II and Vietnam and how they observed Judaism while fighting for America. While we “deprive” ourselves of food and drink for just over 25 hours on this Jewish holy day, I’m sure I’ll read of real deprivation in the books I’m going to try to read. I read this kind of stuff last year, and I think I’m going to make a tradition of it.

Last year and the year before, on this holiday, I read part of a book I got on the life of an American Jewish soldier who was captured and spent time as a prisoner in a Nazi internment camp during World War II. It’s called, “A European Sojourn 1943-1945 An Autobiography Pvt. Frederick O. Scheer Serial No. 14118781: As Recounted to Rear Admiral William O. Miller J A G C USN (Ret.).” From Eatonton, Georgia, Pvt. Scheer was captured shortly after the D-Day invasion, and he spent the rest of WW2 as a Prisoner of War in Germany. It’s an amazing story, so I think I might start from the beginning, as it’s a relatively short book.

Get Yours . . .

When the holiday ends tomorrow night, the shofar–a ram’s horn–is sounded.

To my Jewish friends and readers, have an easy fast (a Tsom Kal) and a great year. Gmar Chatimah Tovah [May you be finally sealed for good–a good year.] To everyone else (except America’s and the Jews’ enemies), I wish you all the same good stuff, too. I’ll “see” you all very, very soon. And thank you for your continued patronage of this site. As always, I will be praying for you and for America, its safety, and security. Our continuing freedom is paramount.

I very much appreciate my readers, their continued support of this site, and, of course, their tips and comments always. And, among other things, I will pray for that to continue and increase in the coming year, as well as the success of a few new projects I hope to announce to you, very soon.

Thanks to the many readers–both Jew and Gentile–who sent me good wishes for an easy fast and a good year. Right back atcha! I’m especially impressed with those of you who do not know Hebrew, but took the time and effort to look up the proper greetings and send them to me. It warms my heart. Thank you for caring.

Again, I wish you all the best, and I’ll be back soon. But in the meantime, I’m putting one or two more things up on this site before I leave for the holiday and fast.

* Religious Jews use dashes in the word “G-d” and do not write it out completely out of respect for Him and the wish not to write the name in vain.

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One Response

I want to wish Debbie and all the Jewish readers here as well any of the other readers here who observes the Yom Kippur holiday an easy fast.

And may everyone–except for the Jewish people’s and America’s enemies–be written and sealed in the book of life.

JeffE on September 22, 2015 at 6:23 pm

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