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YOM KIPPUR IS ABOUT MUCH MORE THAN FASTING

This weekend, Hillsborough County synagogues will honor Yom Kippur, the Jewish High Holiday also known as the Day of Atonement.

The holiday, which falls after Rosh Hashana, is a time of fasting and repentance when congregations gather for prayer and reflection.

Yom Kippur begins today at sundown and ends with a breaking of the fast on Saturday evening.

"Yom Kippur is the time of year when we look inside ourselves to understand what we have done correctly and where we need to do better," said Rabbi Joshua Hearshen of Congregation Rodeph Sholom in Tampa. "We do this not just as individuals but as a congregation and as a community."

Within the Chabad, the Orthodox and Unorthodox Jewish traditions, Yom Kippur offers a yearly confessing and cleansing of the sins.

Jewish people of the Messianic faith, who consider Jesus the Messiah, celebrate the holiday in a somewhat different way.

"We do the same things as a traditional synagogue, but we also add on things relative to the fact that in accordance with our beliefs the Messiah has come," said Rabbi Don Goldstein of Shoresh David Messianic Synagogue. "We don't speak about this as something we hope for but as something that we know."

Yom Kippur services begin with the reading of the Kol Nidre, a historical declaration welcoming the congregation in seeking forgiveness for all Jewish people.

Contact Sarah Whitman at sarahrothwhitman@gmail.com.

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IF YOU GO

Hillsborough County Yom Kippur services

Shoresh David Messianic Synagogue, 4929 Bell Shoals Road, Valrico: Kol Nidre service at 7:30 p.m. today, Yom Kippur prayer services begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, service at 4 p.m., followed by Break the Fast at sundown. For more information, call (813) 699-4155.

Jewish Discovery Center, 1578 Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico: Kol Nidre service at 7 p.m. today, Yom Kippur services begin at 10 a.m., afternoon service and Break the Fast events begin at 5:45 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call (813) 571-8100 or visit jewishbrandon.com.

Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 2713 Bayshore Blvd., Tampa: Kol Nidre service at 6:30 p.m. today, Yom Kippur services begin at 9 a.m. Saturday. For more information, call (813) 837-1911.

Congregation Kol Ami, 3919 Moran Road, Tampa: Kol Nidre service at 7 p.m. today, Yom Kippur services are from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call (813) 962-6338.

Congregation Beth Am, 2030 W Fletcher Ave., Tampa:Kol Nidre service at 8 p.m. today, Yom Kippur services begin at 10 a.m. Saturday. For more information, call (813) 968-8511 or visit bethamtampa.org.

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