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Home / Judaism

Free, streaming Yom Kippur services to be conducted in LA

By Steven Herbert

Free and streaming services will be conducted Monday for Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day.

A Kol Nidre service will be conducted at 11 a.m. and a Neilah service at 6 p.m. at Laugh Factory Hollywood. People planning to attend are advised to arrive at least 45 minutes early to guarantee a seat.

The services will be streamed on the club’s website laughfactory.com.

“These services are especially important for people who are out of town, away from home, or are in hospitals or retirement homes locally and across the globe,” Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada said.

This is the 41st consecutive year Laugh Factory Hollywood has conducted free High Holy Days services.

There will be a traditional service at the JEM Center in Beverly Hills at 10 a.m., a Yizkor memorial service at approximately 1 p.m., an afternoon service at 4:45 p.m. and a concluding service at 6 p.m.

Registration can be made at jemcommunitycenter.com/events/high-holiday-services-2023-2023-09-24-19-00. Additional information is available by calling 310-772-0000.

Most congregations require membership and tickets for High Holy Days services.

Temple of the Arts, which conducts its services at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, is offering free admission to its 2 p.m. service, with reservations required. Reservations can be made by calling 323-658-9100. Upon arrival, guests will have to show a photo identification and clear security.

The service will include Beverly Hills Councilman John Mirisch speaking on “Standing Up to Antisemitism.”

“Antisemitism, more properly referred to as Jew-hatred, is a big problem, but it’s been a big problem for millennia,” Mirisch told City News Service in an email interview. “It seems that Jew-hatred, like a virus, ebbs and flows.”

When asked what can be done to combat antisemitism, Mirisch responded, “Education and exposure to Judaism and Jewish people can sometimes help. Jewish people should proudly express their Jewish identities. Support of Israel as the Jewish ancestral homeland — not necessarily of the Israeli government’s policies — is also an important protection against virulent forms of Jew-hatred.”

Temple of the Arts has offer complimentary seating to its Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services to members of the Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and their immediate families in support of their strikes.

The 10 a.m. service will include Judea Pearl discussing Daniel Pearl World Music Days, created in response to the 2002 kidnapping and killing of his son, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, at the hands of extremists in Pakistan.

Daniel Pearl World Music Days are an international network of concerts that use the power of music to reaffirm a commitment to humanity and understanding. They begin around the Oct. 10 anniversary of his birth.

The services will be streamed on the temple’s website, bhtota.org, and Jewish Life Television at jltv.tv/channels.

Yom Kippur began at sundown Sunday with observant Jews fasting and seeking forgiveness for their sins. According to Jewish tradition, Yom Kippur is the day Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the second set of commandment tablets — he had smashed the first — and announced God’s pardon to the people for worshipping a golden calf.

Observant Jews believe God inscribes the names of the righteous in the Book of Life on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and seals the book on Yom Kippur, 10 days later. For that reason, the traditional greeting among Jews on Yom Kippur is Gemar Chatima Tova, which means “good final sealing” and conveys the wish: “May your name be sealed in the book of life.”

Yom Kippur services begin with the Kol Nidre, an ancient prayer that literally means “all vows” or “all promises.” The last service of the day ends with the sounding of a ram’s horn called a shofar.

Yom Kippur concludes at sundown Monday, ending the 10-day period on the Jewish calendar known as Days of Teshuvah, which is variously translated as repentance, return and change, and the Days of Awe. Many Jews fast on Yom Kippur and spend much of the time in synagogues.

In his Yom Kippur statement, President Joe Biden said, “The blessing of Yom Kippur is that it is not just a day of reflection, repentance, and is reverence — but a day of transformation, forgiveness, and hope.

“God invites us to write a new chapter in the story of our lives, and in the life of our nation. As the High Holidays conclude, let us all summon the courage to make the changes required to bridge the gap between the world we see and the world we seek.”

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