Triangle Jewish community marks Day of Atonement

STAFF WRITERSeptember 25, 2012 

The holiest day on the Jewish calendar continues until nightfall Wednesday, meaning a day out of school for Wake County students.

What it is: Yom Kippur, also called the Day of Atonement, started at sundown Tuesday and continues until Wednesday night. The holiday is typically observed with a 25-hour period of fasting, prayer and services to seek God’s forgiveness for wrongdoings committed against him. “It’s been a holiday that has been very central to Jewish tradition for at least 3,000 years,” said Rabbi Ariel Edery of Temple Beth Shalom on Yates Mill Pond Road in Raleigh.

At Triangle synagogues: Temple Beth Meyer in North Raleigh will devote part of its service to remember those who died during World War II and hear children of Holocaust survivors speak, said Amy Ripps, temple director of education. Because Beth Shalom’s sanctuary seats only about 200 and Edery expects between 400 and 500 for Yom Kippur services, the temple is holding its service at the larger St. Frances United Methodist Church in Cary.

No school in Wake: Though other Triangle school systems have classes Wednesday, there is no school in Wake. It’s also a teacher workday in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools. “The Jewish community has worked with the community on our calendar, and we’re just very appreciative that the county does make an effort to acknowledge this,” Ripps said of Wake.

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