I have a big dilemma. One of my best friends that I've known for 10 years is getting married on Yom Kippur. He's not Jewish and I know he did this with only good intentions, but it's too late to change anything. To make it worse, I am the best man. Is there any way around this situation? I have to be there by 5:00 pm at the latest which means there is still 2 hours and 45 minutes left of Yom Kippur.


Think of Sandy Koufax. It's the 1965 World Series. He's scheduled to pitch on Yom Kippur, but declines. Instead, he attends synagogue in Minneapolis. (His replacement pitched terribly and the Dodgers lost 8–2.)

Your best friend's wedding is like your World Series. As a Jew, Yom Kippur comes first. It's difficult but it's the right decision, and I think you know that yourself. With a caring, sincere, and honest explanation, along with a big hug, your friend will understand too.

What did Koufax do after Yom Kippur? He went on to pitch games Two, Five, and Seven, throwing complete-game shutouts in games Five and Seven.

I believe the same will happen to you. You'll get to that wedding after Yom Kippur ends, and celebrate in a completely different way than if had you been there from the beginning. It's sacrifices—and successes—like these that take us up to a whole new level of inspired Jewishness.

Let me know how things go.