Jewish holidays are a special time of the year when we have the opportunity to spend time with family and improve our bond with our Creator. For over two centuries, Jews have maintained an elaborate set of prayers that are specific to each holiday. Since the Holiday prayers are different that the daily prayers, we rely on a set of Holiday Prayer Books or Mahzorim to help us follow along with the prayers. The object I chose is a Mahzor used on the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur. My family is fortunate to own such set that originally belonged to my Grandfather Joseph Beyda who received this from his father. The set was passed down to my grandfather and then to my father and I hope that it will remain in our family for years to come. My grandfather lived in Aleppo, Syria during the early 1900s. After World War Two, the situation in Aleppo became dangerous for Jews and a number of riots and pogroms erupted in Aleppo and Damascus. Fearing for his life, my grandfather escaped from Syria to Beirut, Lebanon. Years later, after establishing a family in Lebanon, my grandfather once again was forced to move because of anti Semitism. Every year, on the high holidays when my father uses his Mahzor, I remember how lucky I am to be able to practice my religion freely.

Year: 1970

– Jacqueline

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