Yom Kippur at Occupy Wall Street

As sundown approached on Friday, a crowd of approximately 700 people gathered on the New York plaza for Kol Nidre prayers; similar services were held at Occupy Wall Street camps in Washington, Philadelphia, Boston.

ed note–we can JUST IMAGINE what the reaction would be if a group of Muslims or Christians decided to hold a religious service in the middle of Wall Street. However, when our ‘better bethren’ within the Jewish community decide to hold a Yom Kippur service, wherein they recite the Kol Nidre–ABSOLVING THEM OF ALL OATHS THEY HAVE TAKEN–not a peep of protest.


A large, open plaza across from Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, where Occupy Wall Street has made its encampment for three weeks, proved to be the perfect setting for Kol Nidre on Friday night.    

Earlier in the week, Daniel Sieradski, Occupy Wall Street protester and self-styled “new media activist,” wondered on Facebook and Twitter whether he could get a minyan to show up for the service. As sundown approached on Friday, a crowd that some estimated to be as many as 700 people gathered on the plaza for the prayers that begin Yom Kippur. Similar services were held at Occupy Wall Street camps in Washington, Philadelphia and Boston.    

In keeping with the style of the occupation in the park across the street, which does not have a sound system permit, announcements were shouted by a single speaker in short phrases, and each phrase was repeated back through the crowd so everyone could hear it. The entire service was led this way, including the sermon, written and shouted by my friend, Getzel Davis, a fourth-year rabbinical student at Hebrew College in Boston.    

I think all sermons should be delivered this way for all eternity. There’s no better way to capture a crowd’s attention with a Yom Kippur sermon than to hear the message ripple back through the congregation in short bursts. The energy of the crowd was enhanced by the recurring call and response, and by being physically close to one another; once you were in the crowd, it was packed tight and there was no getting out.    

  1. #1 by Ingrid B on 10/12/2011 - 9:34

    are they stealing the limelight again? everything has to revolve around THEM, right?

  2. #2 by Lindsey on 10/12/2011 - 9:34

    Since these creatures are the CAUSE of the vast-majority of this planet’s shit that it is eventually going to be forced-to-face…



  3. #3 by Isaac on 10/13/2011 - 9:34

    Those Jews have done it for so long time. Henry Ford Sr. The auto maker said it in 1918 in his book “Jewish Activities in the United States.”
    When they were arriving from Europe they had special treatment, special preference and every thing was already done for them beforehand to the point that many did not even have to go through Customs.
    Why this is going on and for so long time?. According to the principles of “Democracy” every one should be treated the same and have the same oportunities. What is going on up there in Washingon?

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