It’s been a long six months since our world has been cast into chaos, with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, indeed it feels like the year 2020 can not end soon enough.
It is therefore with great joy and anticipation that we welcomed the celebration of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, last weekend, ringing in the new year of 5781.
The Jewish High Holy Days culminating in Yom Kippur, the annual Day of Atonement, which starts at sundown Sunday, 27 Sept., are both a somber and joyous period when Jews gather to pray, reflect and ask for blessings not just for their own personal lives, but for the entire world.
The upcoming fast day of Yom Kippur is the most solemn day on the Jewish Calendar, where Jewish people do not eat, drink or engage in other pleasurable activities and spend the 25 hours of the holiday in prayer and reflection.
Embedded in the prayers of these awesome days is the request for global peace and health, requests that are so prevalent this year as the world buckles under the pressure of an unprecedented virus and its consequences.
In better times more people attend synagogues on Yom Kippur than any day of the year, This year, with the coronavirus pandemic continuing to spread through much of the world, many will be unable to attend synagogue on the Day of Atonement.
Never have the words “who shall live and who shall die” in the High Holiday prayers, had such resonance.
We are gratified that the concern of Covid-19 has waned here in Cayman and we feel so fortunate to be able to gather for in-person High Holiday services and celebrations.
As we gather on Sunday evening and Monday for Yom Kippur services, we will be cognizant and grateful for our special privilege, as one of the only Jewish Communities around the world that are able to gather without much concern for these High Holidays.
We will humbly endeavour to represent our brothers and sisters around the world in the celebration of this most holy day.
May our prayers be answered for healing, good, health and peace for the coming year.
Visit www.jewishcayman.com/hh2020 or contact Rabbi Berel Pewzner at 345.516.4474 for more info on the High Holidays.
Rabbi Berel Pewzner,
Chabad Cayman Jewish Community Center