Yom Kippur Observed In Boro Park To Mark Day Of Atonement
On the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, a 24-hour synagogue on 13th Avenue in Borough Park welcomed worshippers for prayer services that were offered both during and leading up to the Day of Atonement, which began Sunday at sundown. “Nobody is picture perfect,” worshipper Joseph Fuchs said. “So this is the time of the year that we can reconnect and reunite no matter where you are. God is looking after you.” The observance of Yom Kippur includes a fast that usually lasts just over 24 hours. To ensure that those with limited means had enough to eat before that fast, the nonprofit Masbia Soup Kitchen Network served free meals that included traditional foods like gefilte fish, honeyed carrots, challah and chicken soup. “Yom Kippur is observed by fasting,” said Alexander Rapaport, executive director of Masbia Soup Kitchen Network. “The fast goes from sundown to two three stars come out, so it’s just a little over 24 hours, so if you do that with a full stomach, you are so much better.” The Masbia Soup Kitchen Network also plans to provide free meals Monday evening to help worshippers break their fast. Workers say it’s quite rewarding helping others. “It makes me feel very good,” said Moishe Spira. “I see people before the fast when they come and eat because people need it.” Shia March, 19, of Borough Park, says Yom Kippur is so important to him because it marks a time when he truly feels that he reconnects with God. “The holiday, thank God, is a very special present that God gave us,” March said. “He forgives us for sin. It’s probably is the best day of the year.” Yom Kippur concludes the Jewish High Holidays that began just over a week ago with Rosh Hashanah. March said fasting for Yom Kippur fills his soul. “When I fast, I don’t feel I fast,” March said. “I do my prayers, and I feel like wow, I spoke to the King.” The NYPD will maintain a heightened police presence that is both visible and discreet, in the vicinity of synagogues, Jewish Cultural Centers and other Jewish institutions during Yom Kippur observances, a police spokesperson said. They say their priority is focused on ensuring that individuals can practice their faith safely and unhindered.