During the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, there was an atmosphere of preparation. The ancient verse, “This is my exchange, this is my atonement,” was heard over and over again as hundreds of people flocked to the courtyard of the Jewish Center in Almaty to perform Kapparot.
Many Jews didn’t simply rely on the words and they tried to find a good deed that would change the decree. This included giving tzedakah, putting on tefilin, and using the opportunity to observe the custom of asking for a piece of honey cake, or lekach.
Among those who came to the Jewish Center was a family with a two-month-old baby boy. His brit milah had been delayed due to medical reasons. Now that he had recovered, they found it difficult to go ahead with the circumcision. But after speaking with Rabbi Cohen, they decided to make the brit immediately.
Rabbi Cohen wasted no time, and he