Joe Biden

Statement on the Observance of Yom Kippur

September 24, 2023

As Jewish communities in the United States, Israel, and around the world observe Yom Kippur, Jill and I extend our best wishes on this sacred and solemn holiday.

Jewish tradition holds that from the time the Book of Life is opened on Rosh Hashanah, until the gates close on Yom Kippur, our fate hangs in the balance. From the powerful Kol Nidre service, to the haunting Neilah prayer, and until the piercing sound of the final shofar blast, worshippers are given an opportunity to humbly atone for past misdeeds, repair broken relationships, and commit to doing better in the future.

The blessing of Yom Kippur is that it is not just a day of reflection, repentance, and reverence, but a day of transformation, forgiveness, and hope. God invites us to write a new chapter in the story of our lives, and in the life of our nation. As the High Holidays conclude, let us all summon the courage to make the changes required to bridge the gap between the world we see and the world we seek.

On behalf of my family and my entire administration, we wish you a meaningful and easy fast. May we all be sealed in the Book of Life.

G'mar Chatimah Tova.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement on the Observance of Yom Kippur Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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