USS Peleliu (LHA 5)
Decommissioned March 31, 2015
Sailors Aboard Peleliu Celebrate Yom Kippur
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jasmine Sheard, Amphibious Squadron 3 Public Affairs
USS PELELIU, At Sea - Amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) Sailors celebrated Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, while on deployment Sept. 26.

Yom Kippur, the holiest of the Jewish High Holy days, celebrates reconciliation between people and between individuals in God.

"It's the day we traditionally atone for our sins over the past year," said Lt. j.g. Andrea Goldstein, staff officer assigned to Amphibious Squadron Three. "It's also a time for self-reflection to think about how we can improve our lives and do better by ourselves and most importantly better by others."

Goldstein is the Jewish lay leader on board Peleliu and leads the services held weekly.

"I have been a Jewish lay leader for six months now," Goldstein said. "My faith is very important to me, not just for the religious aspect, but because it gives me opportunities to meditate and reflect, and being able to bring that to other people is very important."

During Yom Kippur, there is a 25-hour fast beginning before sunset on the evening before and ending after nightfall on the day of Yom Kippur. Different prayers are read during the service to demonstrate repentance and make amends.

"Being allowed or given a clean slate is redemption in itself," said Yeoman 3rd Class Angela Symonett.

Many Jews who do not observe any other Jewish customs attend services on Yom Kippur.

"This tradition is not to be forgotten, it is to be practiced and remembered," said Symonett.

Peleliu is the flagship of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group currently underway on a Western Pacific deployment with amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20), amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) and embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
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