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Rabbi says holiday focuses on forgiveness

Forgiveness is a central theme that runs throughout the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, also called the Day of Atonement.
by Carla Hinton Published: September 22, 2012

Goldman said he has seen long-standing family feuds and quarrels among friends fall away because of the theme of forgiveness that surrounds Yom Kippur.

“Some of these long-standing feuds, in one conversation, in one phone call, a person decided that just like God forgives humanity on that day, so years of fighting should go to the wayside and a whole new chapter of that relationship opened up,” he said.

Goldman said many Jews will fast on the holiday and some will wear white clothes, which is a Yom Kippur custom. He said some people also will forgo the wearing of leather shoes during the holiday, which is a requirement in keeping with Jewish law.

He said this rejection of physical comforts is in line with the holiday's focus on one's inner spirituality.

“It's all part of restricting your physical comfort that day so that your body becomes less the focus and your spiritual side becomes more the focus,” Goldman said.

“That's the real essence of Yom Kippur — being in God's presence and being enveloped by His love, being in this mode of letting go and forgiving. Asking for forgiveness from humans and from God, there is a cleansing to be able to move forward more positive and more Godly focused.”

by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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