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Yom Kippur: A chance to ask forgiveness and repent

Yom Kippur
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Dear friends, 

Yom Kippur begins this evening September 27.  We would like to take this time to wish the Jewish community in Ontario and around the world “an easy fast.” 

At sundown, millions will begin to observe the holiest day on the Jewish calendar – a 25-hour period marked by fast and repentance to ensure that the year ahead will be a good one. 

This is a practice that should, however, reach beyond a single race or belief. We are seeing the reasons for this now, more than ever. With 2020 being one of the most challenging years the world has ever seen, we commit to a positive future by confronting our mistakes and transgressions and asking for forgiveness so that we don’t repeat the same mistakes next year. 

The global pandemic is reminding us just how precious life is. It has given us a new set of rules to live by—rules we will be wise to follow as we look ahead. We as individuals and communities are learning this. 

2020 has also provided us with an opportunity at self-reflection when it comes to race. For example, recent injustices and renewed interest in current and past crimes committed against Blacks are making people seek to understand their privilege and their own biases.  We must continue to do everything we can in the coming year to remove barriers inside and outside of OPSEU to ensure everyone has the chance to reach their full potential. 

OPSEU has gone through a lot in the past year and hopefully we will use this knowledge to help us continue to admit when we are wrong, and to take those lessons to work towards a brighter future. 

To everyone: Yom Tov! 

Sincerely, 

Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President 

Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, First Vice-President/Treasurer