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61% of Israeli Jews to Fast on Yom Kippur

September 17, 2010
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According to a religious segmentation, 100% of haredim, 100% of religious and 85% of traditional Jews will abstain from eating and drinking for an entire day. Among seculars, about half of respondents will fast (most of them all day) and half won't fast at all.

Among those who fast, 82% will do it for religious and traditional reasons and the rest for other reasons, including respect for their parents, as a sport and to clean their bodies. In all four sectors mentioned, most of those who fast do it to observe the mitzvah [commandment].

The second question posed was: “Do you plan on going to synagogue on Yom Kippur?” Fifty-one percent of the respondents answered that they would take part in the holiday's prayers (21% in all of them, 14% in some, and 16% only in Kol Nidrei and Ne'ilah [prayers]), while 49% said they will not attend Yom Kippur services at all.

The vast majority of haredi and national religious respondents will go to all of the prayer services. Most of the secular public will not go to synagogue, while traditionalists will participate in some of them.

According to the third part of the poll, 77% of the public plans on asking forgiveness from God or other people, versus 23% who will not reconcile with anyone because they do not believe there is any need. In all of the religious affiliations, a majority of the respondents said they plan on asking forgiveness.

With the option of choosing more than one answer, here is what respondents said they will ask forgiveness for. Insulting a friend or family member—47%; lack of tolerance—34%; not keeping the mitzvoth [commandments]—33%; not properly taking care of the body—18%; not spending enough time with children—11%; treatment of weaker parts of the society—9%; not doing enough for the nation and the country—8%; lack of dependability—6%.

Yesodot Educational Director Shoshi Becker addressed the findings, saying that “Yom Kippur is a day that connects the people to the Jewish tradition in the strongest manner, when the State's Jewish and public character reaches a sort of climax. On the other hand, the survey points to the great diversity among people in regards to their private actions and intentions on this day.

“We are at the start of a new year and an opportunity to recognize our threats and become better people. All Jews share the recognition of an opportunity, and the atmosphere allowing it in the society. We see here a warm recommendation to leaders, educators, parents and any person to develop tools and skills for tolerance and mutual respect among the people of Israel and society as a whole.”

Posted on September 17, 2010

Source: (Excerpts of an article by Kobi Nahshoni, Ynetnews, September 16, 2010)

Photo Credit: Photo by Isranet

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