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Sunday marks the start of the holiest Jewish holiday Yom Kippur

South Florida's Jewish community mark Yom Kippur
South Florida's Jewish community mark Yom Kippur 00:48

MIAMI — Sundown marks the start of the holiest Jewish holiday: Yom Kippur. It marks the end of a 10-day atonement period where everyone is forgiven for any wrongdoings. 

On Sunday evening, many Jewish families will be eating a large meal together. 

"It's a big mitzvah to eat on the day before Yom Kippur because you fast on Yom Kippur," Rabbi Ben Zion Korf said. 

Why do Jews fast on Yom Kippur? 

"Not only we don't eat, we put our technology away," Rabbi Korf said. "We put on white clothes, and the reason is because on this day, we elevate ourselves to a higher level, we become like the angels. We fast, the angels don't eat."

Yom Kippur comes 10 days after Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. On this day, Jews reflect on any wrongdoing and ask for a healthy, happy year ahead, or really for whatever you want. 

"Of course, we're not perfect, everyone [makes] mistakes," Korf said, "but if he [God] sees that we're taking it seriously, and we want to change the world as he created us for, then he gives us another year."

Both Rabbi Korf and Rabbi Donald Bixon said safety is a top priority. 

"We take security precautions all year round," Rabbi Bixon said. "It's just the nature of the way the world works."

Miami Beach, Aventura and Surfside Police all confirmed with CBS Miami they are providing extra security during Yom Kippur.

The Anti-Defamation League said in the past few years the Jewish Community has seen a significant increase in extremist-related incidents both nationwide and in the state of Florida.

"Hopefully this will be a year. The Jewish year 5784 will be a year in which everyone appreciates what everyone else has to offer, the level of hatred will be diminished, and there'll be growth in the friendship and love that we have for one another," Rabbi Bixon said. 

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