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Support Yourself & Loved Ones This Yom Kippur

support for yom kippur

Yom Kippur is considered the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. It is a day when we believe decisions are made about what the next year will look like for us and those around us. It is not a sad day but a heavy day on any given year. With this year’s High Holiday services looking so very different, here are some ways you can support yourself and your loved ones. 

Prioritize wellness.

If the idea of fasting and Zooming together drains you, then focus on your needs. Leave Zooming to another day and focus on your personal journey of fasting and prayer. 

Take your time.

Whether you are attending services in person, via Zoom, or praying on your own, your prayers are intended to help you make a spiritual connection. You may want to spend more time on one prayer instead of another and that is fine. Use the time you have and pray in the way that fulfills your need most. 

Put your “oxygen mask” on first.

Too often we put others’ needs before our own and then cannot meet our own requirements. Just as when you fly on an airplane, you are instructed to put your oxygen mask on first, it’s important to meet your own physical and emotional needs first and then assist the others around you. You will be more productive and able to focus on them if you’re not worried about yourself. 

Ask for help.

Many of us are doing things on our own because of the pandemic, but this can be very isolating. Consider expanding your pod to others in your life if you need support. Do you need a sitter to entertain the kids so you can focus on your prayers and fasting? Do you need a break from all services so you can hike in the woods with friends? Expanding your exposure carries risk but doing it all on your own carries a different kind of risk.


Remember that although this year looks much different than most, you are not going through this alone. If you find yourself in need of professional emotional support, JFCS Counseling Services is here. Please contact us by calling 412-521-3800 or emailing counseling@jfcspgh.org.