Suburban Political Campaigns Pause to Observe Yom Kippur

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), September 25, 2012 | Go to article overview

Suburban Political Campaigns Pause to Observe Yom Kippur


Byline: Melissa Silverberg and Madhu Krishnamurthy msilverberg@dailyherald.com mkrisnamurthy@dailyherald.com

As thousands of suburban Jews prepare to observe Yom Kippur -- the holiest days on the Hebrew calendar -- many Jewish political candidates are taking a break from their busy campaign schedules to reflect, pray and atone.

Yom Kippur follows Rosh Hashana in what is known as the High Holy Days of the Jewish religion. Also know as the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur is observed with religious services and 24 hours of fasting.

"It's a time of reflection to look back at how you led your life and hope that you learned from the mistakes you made in the past year," said state Rep. Sid Mathias, who is running against state Rep. Carol Sente for the redistricted 59th District House seat.

"Fortunately it's not a weekend, which is usually more intense for campaigning than during the week, but there will be absolutely no campaigning over the holiday," Mathias said.

Instead of seeking votes, Mathias plans to be at his temple in Buffalo Grove tonight and most of Wednesday before breaking the fast at a friend's house later that night.

"Bright and early Thursday morning we'll be back on the campaign trail," he added.

Mathias isn't the only one taking a break to observe the Jewish holiday this week.

State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, the Democrat representing the 57th District, plans to cease all campaigning to observe Yom Kippur and will close her campaign office.

"We did the same thing for Rosh Hashana," she said. Nekritz said she tries to avoid checking email or doing campaign work during this time.

Any candidate knocking on doors in her area would soon realize that 25 percent of the district is Jewish, she added. …

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