Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement for those of the Jewish faith, begins today at sundown and continues until sunset tomorrow evening.
The 10-day period, beginning with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year on the first of Tishri, and concluding with Yom Kippur on the 10th of Tishri, is known as Yamim Noraim, the Days of Awe. Yom Kippur is a day for Jews to become reunited with God and their fellow men, and to make atonement for their sins.
The Kol Nidre prayer, which goes back at least 2,000 years, is changed during synagogue services and expresses the ideas that man's plans and promises, no matter how earnest, cannot always be fulfilled. The stirring melody expresses fear, impassioned pleading and hope for ultimate deliverance.
Today, Jews are to forego all physical pleasures, including eating and drinking, and instead, subject themselves to a vigorous and soul-searching introspection of themselves and their lifestyles.
To all of our Jewish readers, may your fast be an easy one.