Prayers and the Inadvertent Natural Gas Attack…

Alan J. Schwarz
8 min readSep 17, 2021

Yom Kippur is the single most solemn day on the Jewish Calendar. It is a time for introspection and reflection, it is also a twenty-four hour fast day. Prior to going to Synagogue to hear Kol Nidre a very important prayer that kicks off the fast, there is a big meal to help fortify a person and keep them going until the fast is over twenty-four hours later.

Herschell Ostrepeller who was sixty-one always had a plan to deal with fasting. He would eat but mostly he would drink copious amounts of water. This year however his wife Esty had everything catered from Kosher Kosher Kosher Premier Catering.

The whole family was at Herschell’s place to enjoy the pre-fast food and spend Yom Kippur praying together. There was Herschell’s son Barry and his wife Blair and his Grandson Joe. There was his son Carl and his daughter-in-law Lisa with his Grandchildren Nathan and Zoe. There was his daughter Alex and her husband Marcus and his two Grandchildren Jake and Hannah. Altogether there were eight adults and five little kids, Herschell could not have been happier. Family was what he lived for.

The food that Kosher Kosher Kosher Premier prepared was different than they usually ate before a Yom Kippur fast. There was raisin challah, chicken soup, gefilte fish, chicken fingers and cabbage rolls, turkey and a beef brisket with cranberry sauce. There were potato patties and roasted potatoes, there was pasta and veal schnitzel. There was all kinds of vegetables and salads. In short there was enough food to feed an army. Desert featured honey cake and fresh fruit.

Herschell was preoccupied with his Grandchildren who were all between the ages of one and eight and as a result, he threw food in his mouth without thinking about what he was doing. Normally he would drink between six and eight glasses of water, but he didn’t even do that.

After driving to the Synagogue, everybody went to their assigned seats. Herschell and his boys were in the front row, the women sat across from them.

The Rabbi came out to give his welcome and discussed an unfortunate anti-semitic act he encountered on his way to the Synagoge. As he was walking to the House of Worship, some maroon yelled and hurled anti-semitic nonsense at him. It ws obvious he was rattled.

Alan J. Schwarz

Alan Schwarz loves life. He is the founder of JAMS Productions, a television production company based in Toronto . His passion is writing.