Chicago-Area Jews Observe Yom Kippur

CHICAGO (CBS) — At this moment, many Jews are in Synagogue, observing the holiest day of their calendar year, Yom Kippur.

It calls for fasting and as CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports, that also calls for some traditional planning.

At Emma’s Bagels in Skokie people are stalking up for a fast.

“We were insane. Probably about 25, 30 people in line constantly for about three or four hours goes on for most of the day because we close at 2 p.m., Howard Lichtenstein of Emma’s Bagels says.

Starting at Sundown today through Sundown tomorrow, many Jews will refrain from eating for a day of atonement.

“The focus is on praying to God, for a good year, for past sins you had during the year,” Stanley Greenberg, a Skokie resident says.

Tradition is marked by a plentiful supply of bagels and cream cheese sandwiched around the fast.

“They eat beforehand at about 4:30 p.m., 5 p.m., go to synagogue, then they break the fast afterwards also,” Lichtenstein says.

Up the street at Kaufman’s Bagel and Delicatessen, regulars have been standing elbow-to-elbow on this day for years

“We get the kids, the adults and we get the grandparents,” Bette Dworkin of Kaufman’s Bagel and Delicatessen says.

In addition to baked goods, the kitchen’s churning out enough after fast platters of tomatoes and tuna salad and more to feed 1000 people. Demand’s so high, they had to boil up extra gefilte fish.

“We ran otu of gefilte fish; we had to make more today,” Dworkin adds.

Yom Kippur is a serious day, a time to reflect on relationships with God, but also give thanks for the family you love.

“Your family are those people around you that you love,” Dworkin says. “And it’s an opportunity when things slow down a little bit to remind you how much you care about them.

Wednesday, Kaufman’s Deli will have a refrigerated truck parked on site, and at sundown, as the faithful end their fast, hundreds will drive by to pick up their pre-ordered platters, cold platters and bagels.

These are some traditions that keep these communities strong.


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