The most solemn of Jewish religious holidays, Yom Kippur, will be observed by the Chabad Jewish Center of Chino Hills on Wednesday, Sept. 15 and Thursday, Sept. 16.
Rabbi Mendy Harlig invites the community to both observances, but space is limited due to COVID restrictions.
Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people and is observed with fasting and prayer.
It concludes the 10 days of repentance that began with Rosh Hashana, known as the Jewish New Year.
“Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year—the day on which we are closest to God and to the quintessence of our own souls,” Rabbi Harlig said.
The Kol Nidrei service will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15 and the Yizkor Memorial Service will be held at 12:45 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16, he said.
“Kol Nidrei, the prayer which ushers in the holiday of Yom Kippur, is perhaps the most famous one in our liturgy,” said the rabbi. “Ironically, it is not really a prayer at all, but rather a statement.”
The statement deals with promises, vows, and other sorts of verbal commitments commonly made in the course of the year, he said.
Kol Nidrei, which means “all vows,” nullifies the binding nature of such promises in advance, said Rabbi Harlig.
“On Yom Kippur, when the essence of the soul is fully revealed, we express our real attitude towards the imperfections that might slip into our behavior in the coming year,” he said.
“They are thus denied and declared insignificant,” he added.
An evening service follows Kol Nidrei that consists of the Half-Kaddish, the Shema, the Amidah, the Al Chet confession of sins, and special additional prayers which are said only on the night of Yom Kippur.
Yizkor, in Hebrew, means “remember.” It is not only the first word of the prayer, it also represents its overall theme, he said. “In this prayer, we implore God to remember the souls of our relatives and friends that have passed on,” he said.
“When we recite Yizkor, we renew and strengthen the connection between us and our loved ones, bringing merit to the departed souls, elevating them in their celestial homes,” he said.
The main component of Yizkor is the private pledge to give charity following the holiday in honor of the deceased.
Rabbi Harlig and his wife Esther lead the Chabad Jewish Center of Chino Hills.
The goal is to establish a center in Chino Hills or a nearby community for classes, workshops, religious services, Shabbat meals, and special events.
Current programs include synagogue services, adult education, the Jewish Women’s Circle, and more.
To learn about Chabad Jewish Center of Chino Hills, visit jewishchinohills.com.