Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is a Jewish High Holy day that starts at sunset on Friday and ends at sunset on Saturday.
Its purpose is for Jews to seek reconciliation between people in their lives and God, and Long Beach temples offer several different services, #65 of Patch's 100 Things To Do In Long Beach series.
Home to nine synagogues, Long Beach has an array of family, women and youth services spread throughout the city. Before sunset on Friday, women and children will light holiday candles in their temple and the rabbi will deliver a sermon that is accompanied by an appeal for charity to evoke heavenly mercy.
On Yom Kippur Jews will stand and say the Amidah, a prayer that incorporates a lengthy confession of sins. The confessions are recited silently, followed by a light knock on the chest with their fist, which is meant to signify the domicile of the heart—the seat of which Jews believe to hold their passions and impulses.
Songs, readings from the Torah, and prayers commence throughout the day. The final services begin an hour before sunset where the Ne’ilah prayer is read. For Jews this prayer has the ability to access the most essential level of their soul that is in a state of absolute oneness. After the prayer, a ram's horn is blown, sealing off a year of happiness, health and prosperity for the Jews.
"There's something special about celebrating Yom Kippur in Long Beach," West Holme resident Darren Cohen said. "There's such a large Jewish family here. It's wonderful to feel like you're celebrating the High Holiday with a community."
Yom Kippur is the Jews last appeal for repentance with God, and for reconciliation with their fellow man. And Long Beach creates a warm and enlightened environment to do so.
Notes: BACH Jewish Center will provide an explanation of the High Holidays on Oct. 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Allegria Hotel. The spiritually based program will provide a High Holiday experience with a contemporary message. For more information log on to www.bachyouth.com.