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Yom Kippur Offers Spiritual Growth in New Canaan

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Members of New Canaan’s Jewish community will offer observers a chance to focus on atonement and spiritual involvement as they mark Yom Kippur on Saturday.

“They are thinking along the lines of healing and focusing on their spiritual involvement as well their involvement with the community,” said Rabbi Levi Mendelow of the Chabad of New Canaan. “They grow through the experience of the holiday, and they continue to experience spiritual growth throughout the year.”

This is the second year Mendelow and his family will lead the services in New Canaan. He expects about 100 people to attend Saturday services at the New Canaan Nature Center, including the 7 p.m. Break-Fast, which concludes the ritual fasting for the day. All Jews, except children and the very sick, are expected to fast from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. Chabad members attended the Kol Nidre services Friday evening. The phrase Kol Nidre means all vows. It essentially declares that all vows made with God be annulled if we fail to live up to them.

Mendelow said the first year in New Canaan has gone well for him and his family. New Canaan’s Jewish families are happy to have a local spot for observing the holidays, he said. “We are constantly gladdened by the welcoming community,” Mendelow said.

Resident Arnold Karp says he’s enjoyed spending time with Mendelow and his family during the holidays. He credits the rabbi for being inclusive during events for those who are very religious as well as for those who are not as observant. “I think it’s nice that New Canaan has come far enough to have services in town,” he said.

Karp says Yom Kippur is one of the most important days on the Jewish calendar. “I’m looking forward to a new beginning,” he said. Karp is also anticipating breaking the fast with bagels, lox and noodle pudding.

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