SALT LAKE CITY — It’s not always easy for Jews to prepare themselves for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement as Rabbi Ilana Schwartzman will tell you. Schwartzman, rabbi of Congregation Kol Ami in Salt Lake City, said “Yom Kippur is the day we evaluate our past year, look at what we’ve done and who we want to be in the year to come.” The synagogue draws several families from throughout Davis County. This year, Yom Kippur begins at sundown on Sept. 25. Yom Kippur is the climax of the Jewish High Holy Days, which began this year at sunset on Sept. 16. Schwartzman said Yom Kippur is the day Jews make amends for any wrongs they’ve committed in the past year and vow to make changes for the better. “It’s a time of introspection, when you approach people in your life to check with them on what you could have done better,” Schwartzman said. As part of that introspection, Schwartzman contacts friends and relatives to apologize for any wrongs she may have committed. “Yom Kippur applies to the Divine,” Schwartzman said. “Until we make amends to those around us, we can’t be forgiven by God.” The process can be very difficult and emotional. But it also can solidify relationships. “I called a friend a couple of weeks ago, and we both ended up crying,” she said. For Schwartzman her commitment to making those amends is time consuming. She said she begins in the Jewish month of Elul, which runs from mid-August through mid-September. The holiday itself is in the month of Tishri, which runs from mid-September to mid-October.
For more information check out the Sept.20 edition of Davis Clipper.