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Since You Asked: Yom Kippur does move each year

My husband's birthday was Sept. 27, but we moved the party because some Jewish friends said they couldn't attend due to Yom Kippur. They said they could come next year with no problem.

When exactly is Yom Kippur and does it skip around like Thanksgiving?

— Natalie in Medford

Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, began at sundown Sept. 27 and ended at nightfall on the 28th, Natalie. It does "skip around" on the calendar, although not in the way of Thanksgiving, which is always the fourth Thursday of November.

Next year, Yom Kippur will begin on Sept. 17, and in 2011 it will begin on Oct. 7. In 2011 it will be back in late September, on the 25th.

The day is one of two Jewish High Holy Days. The first is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, falls 10 days after Rosh Hashanah.

It's on the 10th of Tishri, the Hebrew month that spans parts of September and October on the Gregorian calendar.

Yom Kippur is to effect reconciliation between people and God, and between individuals. Its essentials are repentance, or Teshuvah, prayer and fasting. It is considered a happy day.

In 1965, baseball great Sandy Koufax refused to pitch for the Dodgers against Minnesota in the first game of the World Series because it was Yom Kippur. Don Drysdale pitched instead, giving up seven runs in less than three innings.

When manager Walter Alston went to the mound to yank him, Drysdale is reported to have said, "I bet you wish I was Jewish too."

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com.