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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

OPINION: Men’s Basketball just won’t back down
Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

Yom Kippur at Wofford

An+open+Torah%2C+the+Jewish+holy+book.+
An open Torah, the Jewish holy book.

THE JEWISH HOLIDAY YOM KIPPER OR “DAY OF ATONEMENT” BEGINS AT SUNDOWN OCT. 3 —

Arguably the most important Jewish holiday of the year falls on Friday, Oct. 3 — Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is the “Day of Atonement,” which essentially means it is a day of atoning for sins of the past year. It was established based on the verse in Leviticus 23:26. As a Sabbath day, traditionally no work is done on Yom Kippur. Some Jews may attend a synagogue service on this day or fast.

Yom Kippur does not always fall on a Friday evening and Saturday day — often it will fall on a weekday, putting many college students in a difficult situation. According to USA Today, many colleges do not give this day off to students, but they do allow for them to miss class if they so choose. Attending class while fasting can be a very difficult situation for some students. Missing class, however, is quite difficult as well because it can put students behind academically. While Wofford students will not be forced to make the difficult decision of whether or not to attend classes while fasting, they will be surrounded by appetizing gatherings for Family Weekend, ranging from the Class of 2015 reception to the tailgates for the football game.

Alumnus Hannah Rovin, Class of 2014, comments on the placement of Family Weekend: “Honestly, I am disappointed, but not surprised that Family Weekend was placed on Yom Kippur.”

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Rovin believes that Wofford would never schedule an event such as Family Weekend on Easter or Christmas. While Rovin does not observe every Jewish holiday, she feels that the campus has too often “completely disregarded Jewish holidays.” Though a menorah is placed out during December, Rovin points out that more could be done for the Jewish community on campus.

“Hanukkah only gets attention because it’s around Christmas time. Yet, the holidays coming up – like the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and Yom Kippur – are two of the most practiced and observed Jewish Holidays,” explains Rovin.

While Family Weekend falling on Yom Kippur might be challenging for Jewish practicing students, it also offers an opportunity for Wofford Jewish families to gather.

President of Hillel on campus, Senior Brian Mekler says, “Yom Kippur is a somber holiday but it’s very rewarding to take a day to reflect on yourself and your family with God. It’s a practice that many Jewish people take dear to heart and it’s a day to be with family. Nothing is better than breaking fast with your family.”

The faculty advisor of Hillel is currently on leave teaching with the Danish Institute of Study Abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, so Mekler is working with the interim advisor and an alumunus advisor to plan Hillel’s first meeting.

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