Yom Kippur – Statement by Vice President Joe Biden

Yom Kippur is a sacred day — a time for Jewish communities to come together to reflect and repent, to fast and to pray. It’s a moment to ask forgiveness from those we’ve let down, and to ask ourselves what we can do to be better to one another in the year ahead.

The questions Yom Kippur poses to the Jewish people are as timely and as universal this year as they have ever been. At the confluence of so much grief, anger, and division in our world, how can each of us contribute to the healing of those wounds in every part of our society? How can we work harder to replace hatred with hope, bigotry with peace, and pain with purpose? How can we rise to this moment, and recommit ourselves to ridding our world of injustice and oppression?

At the core of Yom Kippur is a powerful reminder for all who observe it: that people are accountable not only to God, but to one another. Each of us carries the responsibility to repair rifts, lead with kindness and an open hand, and treat all people with dignity and respect. For the Jewish people, that is the path to atonement and a happy, healthy new year. For the American people — Jews and non-Jews alike — it also represents the path to a happier, healthier, stronger, and more successful nation.

May we all take this moment to do an honest accounting of where we are today and where we must go in order to restore the soul of our nation. On behalf of Jill, Kamala, Doug, and our families, I extend our warmest wishes to all who observe this Day of Atonement. Have an easy and meaningful fast. And may you be sealed in the Book of Life.

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