Standing With Jews This Yom Kippur

by | Sep 13, 2013 | Uncategorized | 2 comments

ZenitStanding With Jews This Yom Kippur  reflections by Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB in  Zenit:The world seen from Rome.  

“With them we recall our common trust in Gods grace and mercy, which we have inherited from the Jewish experience of God. With them we honor the richness of Jewish prayer that is at the core of Christian prayer”

ROME, September 12, 2013 ( – At sunset on Friday, Sept. 13 this year, the Kol Nidre service will gather the Jewish community in synagogues across the globe, to initiate a solemn day of fasting, reflection, and prayer. At sunset the following evening the Ne’ilah service will assemble the community once again to close the annual observance of Yom Kippur. Through this “Day of Atonement,” they seek repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation in their relations with God and with one another. Many will remain at the synagogue most of that day for personal or communal prayer and reflection; others will spend much of the day at home, reviewing their lives and relations since last Yom Kippur, asking forgiveness from others where necessary. This is the 10th of Tishrei on the Jewish calendar.

As Christians, we remember more than 2,000 years that comprise the story of the Christian community, from its beginnings within the Jewish community in Jerusalem, through the dramatic evolution that occurred as the Church took root in gentile communities of other cultures, to its present situation as the largest faith community in the world. The early Church and Rabbinic Judaism both took shape about the same time, both rooted in Biblical Judaism. But very soon in the history of these sibling communities, negative stereotypes of Jews and Judaism dominated the Church’s relations with the Jewish community. That led to the demeaning of Jewish faith and the persecution of Jews, culminating in the role that the Church’s theology played in setting the scene for the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis during World War II.

Especially since the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), Christian communities have begun to re-examine this tragic history and to recognize the anti Judaism that, for centuries, has poisoned the life of the Church and brought untold suffering on the Jewish people. This gives Christians every reason to want to be with the Jewish community in repentance this Yom Kippur, to share their fast, to stand before God with them, acknowledging our own need for repentance and seeking forgiveness, as an expression of our commitment to new relations with this community.

He develops the themes

  • The Jewish High Holy Days…
  • Pope Francis and the Jewish Community…

He concludes…

As our Jewish brothers and sisters prepare to observe a day of repentance and reconciliation this year, and come before God with fasting and prayer, we join with them in expressing our fundamental solidarity of faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  With them we recall our common trust in God’s grace and mercy, which we have inherited from the Jewish experience of God.  With them we honor the richness of Jewish prayer that is at the core of Christian prayer.  With them we confess our sins, both personal and corporate.  With them we name with sadness and shame the sins of the Christian churches towards the Jewish people, especially our contempt for their spiritual traditions.  In solidarity with them we seek forgiveness and reconciliation and pray for peace among all people, cultures and religions.

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  1. Batya Galanti

    As a jew I simply want to thank you for this article and I send you my best wishes from Israel..

  2. Ann Denninger

    We had a Msgn in our parish who always used to mention at Mass that it was the High Holy Days for our neighbors, and we should remember them at our Mass. When mentioned back in my community, this did more for Catholic-Judeo relations than you can imagine.
    Ann D.

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