Yom Kippur

Written for:  Poets United Midweek Motif~Holiness/Holy Day
Your Challenge:  Write a new poem about a specific Holy Day or about the concept of Holiness.

Serious and silent,
Dad appeared mystical
on Yom Kippur. From sundown
to sundown, he fasted, and walked
to temple to join others
in prayer. A day to cast out
sins. We would walk with him
to the water carrying bread
to break into bits, and toss
into water, each piece
representing atonement for sins
committed during past year.
Dad is gone. This holiday
and others, for me, has fallen
by the wayside. I am not
a person of faith, yet I remember
clearly that solemn day–sadness,
and Dad’s unshakeable belief.


About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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17 Responses to Yom Kippur

  1. Sherry Marr says:

    A man of deep faith…… he must have been the bedrock of your childhood. Lovely.


  2. Sumana Roy says:

    I had to google ‘Yom Kippur’. I like the rituals of various faiths. They are a kinda binding force. Thank you Sara.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Susan Chast says:

    A wonderful memory! I have done the breadcrumb (and pocket lint). Wasn’t it a relief to see those “sins” float away? What this poem says about Holiness is quite a gift.


  4. oldegg says:

    What a beautiful memory of your family. Each of us has myriad connections to the past proving how wide our ancestral links may be.


  5. Rosemary Nissen-Wade says:

    Yes, though we may not share our parents’ attitudes and beliefs, customs we grew up with may still spark great nostalgia.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Rallentanda says:

    Yom Kippur is a very sad day and the the most solemn day of atonement in the Jewish calendar.Pesach was a wonderful celebration as well as shabat on Friday nights. . I am not Jewish but I lived in a Jewish community for ten years so I am familiar with the culture and religious celebrations.It was an important learning curve for me.The experience made me more conscious and respectful of my own religion and was responsible for my becoming a committed Christian. I owe them a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mary says:

    Sounds like your father was a wonderful example of how to live! An unshakeable belief, if one can attain it, is a wonderful thing.


  8. What a lovely and touching poem!


  9. frankhubeny says:

    Nice tradition of tossing bread crumbs in the water to atone for sins.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. 1sojournal says:

    A beautiful and heartfelt tribute,



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