At Yom Kippur, Patients Can Find Ready Listener

September 26, 2009

Author: Claudia Feldman

Source: The Houston Chronicle

Mimi Lait marched into the cancer hospital, her makeup fresh and her gray hair swinging. She was there for outpatient care after brain surgery, but her step was light because she was about to meet an old friend.

Hope Lipnick, the best-known Jewish chaplain in the vast Texas Medical Center, greeted Lait with a hug. In no time, they were catching up on Lait's family and her holiday plans.

Yom Kippur, the Jewish calendar's holiest day, begins today at sunset. According to Jewish tradition, God decides each person's fate for the new year on Rosh Hashana, then seals the deal 10 days later on Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement.

“We know a hospital can be a very daunting place, especially during this holiday,” Lipnick said. “We look at the patients as our Jewish family, and our goal is to create a place of safety, serenity and peace.”