Yom Kippur celebrations alive on campus
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 07:09
Today marks the second day of the internationally celebrated Jewish holiday – Yom Kippur.
Two organizations on West Virginia University’s campus, The Hillel House and Chabad Jewish Center, hosted celebrations last night and will continue their celebrations today.
Yom Kippur began yesterday at sundown with a Pre-Fast Feast and the Kol Nidrei religious ceremony.
The celebrations will continue with an After-Fasting meal and a celebration of the new Jewish year.
Yom Kippur is celebrated by all Jewish denominations and marks the end of Rosh Hashanah, a ten-day high holiday period within the Jewish religion.
During these ten days, it is customary to reflect on actions and sins of the past year and apologize or reconcile with those whom one has wronged.
If one confesses all of his or her sins and reconciles their differences with others, they are written into the Book of Life for another year. This means they are given another year of life, according to Hillel House co-director Deva Solomon.
On campus, the two student organizations provide services for Jewish students, who will have the opportunity to express their religion among others during this important time of reflection.
Solomon said he was excited about the opportunities he is helping create for the members.
"I think it’s important for students on campus to have somebody to share their religion with and find a welcoming place where there are other Jews around," he said. "It’s crucial that Jewish students have somewhere to go during the most important holiday of the year."
Solomon helps coordinate the meals as well as the services that are traditionally part of Yom Kippur. He also helps coordinate the services that Hillel House provides to students.
The Chabad Jewish Student Organization at WVU also held services for students last night and will continue to celebrate today.
The Yom Kippur services are held in the Mountaineer Ballroom of the Mountainlair, while their usual Friday services are at the Chabad House.
Sophomore Benjamin Levi has been actively involved with Chabad while at WVU.
"Being involved with this organization has given me a place to go on campus where I can express my religion," he said.
"With this being one of the most spiritual
holidays of the Jewish religion, it’s great to be around others who I can celebrate with."
Each organization provides benefits to Jewish students weekly and actively engages the students in the religion.
Hillel House, as well as Chabad, expect around 50 students to engage in the celebration of Yom Kippur, while many students also participate actively throughout the academic year.
The student organization celebration of Yom Kippur on WVU’s campus has grown into an important way to express the Jewish
religion and to help influence the lives of Jewish students on campus in a positive way.
For more information on Jewish Student Organizations, visit sos.wvu.edu.