A sea of white saris flutter in the fleeting breeze, a quick reprieve amidst the October heatwave just outside a high school gymnasium in Ashdod, Israel. Chairs lined up outdoors, along the wall of the rented gymnasium, for the overflowing worshippers.
Indian girls in tailored white dresses, made by a neighborhood seamstress, with silky white ribbons in their jet-black ponytails. Mothers' fanning themselves with the Hebrew-Hindi transliterated prayer book, shushing the kids at the nearby playground, while the Hazan's (Cantor) voice on the loudspeaker, vibrates through the airwaves with hymns, during Yom Kippur's Neila, closing prayer. As the sound of the Shofar (ram's horn) breaking the fast nears, the sea of white will quickly dissipate to break the fast at their homes.
The scenes are from decades ago when Indian synagogues in Israel were few and far between. It is traditional in the Bnai Israel (Sons of Israel) Indian Jewish community to wear white for Yom Kippur, symbolic to cleansing and purity, as we atone and are forgiven for our sins on this holiday.
The above story is not the Yom Kippur article I have written for The Washington Post, but wished to share my childhood Yom Kippur scenes with you, my readers here. Head over to the article "Kreplach, a Hole-y Alternative to Break-Fast Bagels for Yom Kippur" in The Washington Post where you'll read the story and get the links, at the bottom of the article, to the five recipes and photos. A step-by-step photo gallery how to, for the Kreplach, will be published shortly. Look out for a hard copy of The Washington Post Food Section out tomorrow. I was super excited that my article and photos landed on the first page of the Food Section. Tomorrow, when the paper is out in print, I will share a snapshot here. So follow on IG and stay tuned.