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Yom Kippur observance in Monroe County

The Jewish observance focuses on repentance and asking for forgiveness.

STROUD TOWNSHIP, PA — Rabbi Yehuda Salkow with the Jewish Center of the Poconos near Stroudsburg read a portion of the Amidah, a silent prayer, from the Yom Kippur prayer book when Newswatch 16 stopped by on Tuesday.

"Yom Kippur is the highlight of the High Holy Days. Yom Kippur follows Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah was just about a week ago. Together with Yom Kippur, they make up what's called the ten days of repentance," Rabbi Salkow said.

The rabbi says Yom Kippur in English means Day of Atonement. It focuses on repentance and asking for forgiveness.

"It's not just a general recognition of God's presence in our life, but it's more of a focus on our deeds and what we need to repair in our lives, and making amends between us and with anyone with whom we need to make amends," Rabbi Salkow said.

Jewish adults observe the holiday fast for 25 hours.

"During this time, there are five primary restrictions. We are supposed to avoid eating, drinking, and bathing. No intimacy and no ointments, pleasurable ointments," the rabbi explained. "It's a very serious day, but not a sad day. It's a day of opportunity, an opportunity to turn a page and start anew," Rabbi Salkow said.

Once the sun sets at the end of Yom Kippur, Jewish families and friends gather to break their fast.

For those making the observance, "have an easy fast."

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