Yom Kipper the Most Solemn of Jewish Holidays
Yom Kippur is the day of atonement, and the most important holiday in the Jewish faith. According to tradition, it is on Yom Kippur that God decides each person’s fate, so Jews are encouraged to make amends and ask forgiveness for sins committed during the past year. During this time, observers fast for 25 hours and participate in a special religious service. For the most devote, they will not wear leather shoes nor anoint themselves with oil. Orthodox Jews may wear long white robes called kittel.
When visiting patients during this time, they may spend the eve of Yom Kippur and the entire day in prayer and meditation.
Fun fact: Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, one of the most famous Jewish athletes in American sports, made national headlines when he refused to pitch in the first game of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur. When Koufax’s replacement Don Drysdale was pulled from the game for poor performance, he told the Los Angeles Dodgers’ manager Walter Alston, “I bet you wish I was Jewish, too.”