WITH more than 5000 High Holy Day packs having been distributed ahead of Rosh Hashanah, the focus of the “Together Never Apart” initiative now turns to Yom Kippur.
Maroubra Synagogue’s Rabbi Yossi Friedman is encouraging Jews across Australia to join together for a moment of silence at noon on Yom Kippur in lieu of attending Yizkor and to check in on someone before the fast begins.
“We’re encouraging people to reach out to one person they haven’t seen to since last Yom Kippur. Make that phone call, say I’m sorry, say I’m thinking of you, give a bit of gratitude,” he said.
Yizkor cards will also be distributed to jails so Jewish prisoners can also feel connected, he said.
Maroubra congregant Sharon (surname withheld) said her High Holy Day pack made the Rosh Hashanah service “more meaningful and brought it to life”.
“I couldn’t attend services because of my health. Using the pack enabled me to follow along,” she said.
“I really enjoyed that I could read a section and then go to the machzor, and it made it all the more meaningful for my home davvening.”
She intends to partake in the moment of silence on Yom Kippur, which she said is “a way of unifying everyone”.
“I think it must be so hard for so many people that are unable to attend shule and never miss a Yizkor service,” she said.
“Everybody can just have a moment where they can appreciate and be together in silence.”
Chabad Youth’s Rabbi Moshe Kahn said of the moment of silence, “Yom Kippur is a day of internal reflection and ultimately when we think about who we are [and] what we are.
“What matters most is our connection to our loved ones, and although this year we can’t physically be with them, our minds, soul and heart can definitely connect to each and every one of them.”