This evening marks the start of Yom Kippur, the final and most important of the Jewish High Holy Days. The observance this year is particularly poignant given the efforts of Iran – a nation which continues to deny Israel’s right to exist – to acquire nuclear weapons. This holy day represents an excellent time to reflect on the bravery required of Israel to stand as the only true Democracy in the Middle East in addition to being the homeland for the Jewish people.
So it was a welcome to see the United Nations recognize Israel in some small manner with its first ever traditional Tashlich ceremony, a part of Yom Kippur:
Tashlich, which means “to cast,” is an ancient Jewish ritual in which participants throw breadcrumbs into a body of water symbolically tossing away their sins. The ceremony usually takes place on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, but for the United Nations’s first-ever participation, the day before Yom Kippur worked just as well.
Unfortunately, the U.N. has yet to recognize Yom Kippur or any other Jewish holiday as part of its list of official holidays despite the inclusion of Christmas and both Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Hopefully this official recognition, like much else owed to those Israelis who stand in the face of terrorism every day, will arrive in the year to come.