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Yom Kippur begins Tuesday evening

Holy Jewish holiday marks time for fasting, forgiveness

SAN ANTONIO - Tuesday marked the start of Yom Kippur, the most sacred of all Jewish holidays.

For the following 24 hours, Jews dedicate themselves to fasting and forgiveness.

On Tuesday afternoon, it was business as usual at well-known San Antonio men's clothing store Penner's.

But Tuesdays evening, the hustle and bustle stops, as the Penner family -- along with the rest of the Jewish community -- marks Yom Kippur, a day of atonement in the Jewish faith.

"Tonight at 6:30, it starts at sundown," said Mitchell Penner. "You're asking for forgiveness throughout the whole year."

Yom Kippur is marked by 25 hours of fasting. Not even water is allowed for this symbolic cleansing of sin. Both young and old know that this is the most solemn of all Jewish holidays.

"If you really mean it, at the end of the fasting, God will forgive you for your sins against him," said George Fodor, a member of the Jewish Community Center.

For Mitch Penner, it's a time pause to remember the significance of sin and sacrifice.

"This is the holiest day of the Jewish religion," he said.

While Tuesday and Wednesday are a very serious occasion in the Jewish faith, a week-long celebration traditionally follows with a festival called the Feast of Tabernacles.


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