Nothing wrong with Yom Kippur holiday instead of Columbus Day

By on October 19, 2005

It is shocking to think that Quinnipiac University students would be so dismayed over having a day off for Yom Kippur rather than a holiday for Columbus Day. I often hear from roommates, friends, and most recently have seen an instance in the QU Chronicle, that having Yom Kippur off is hard to bear because other universities and colleges feel that Columbus Day should be a day off rather than Yom Kippur.

I feel Quinnipiac has done the right thing by canceling classes on Yom Kippur. For all of those who are uneducated on the matter, Yom Kippur is to Jews what Easter is to Christians. It is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar year as Jews are supposed to atone for their sins by attending prayer services as well as fast for one full day. This year, Yom Kippur was on Thursday the 13th of October, coincidently, occurring at just the right moment in time to coincide with Columbus Day. This in turn happened to spoil a possible three-day weekend that other Universities and Colleges received as Columbus Day fell on a Monday.

I am not proclaiming that Jews or Jewish holidays take precedence over that of American holidays and functions, however, let us look at what Columbus Day represents. Christopher Columbus and his followers absolutely decimated a population of Native Americans, particularly the Tainos, living in Central America. He enslaved many of the Native Americans and shipped them to Europe for profit. Columbus even went as far as to document his atrocities in a book entitled A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies.

So what does it matter that Quinnipiac had no classes on a Thursday and your best-friend’s school had a three day weekend. You still got to drink and party it up with your friends at school. There is a Jewish holiday that typically occurs around the same time as Easter. It is called Passover and it is a celebration of the Jewish flight from Egypt under a tyrannical Pharaoh, but that is another story. Perhaps Quinnipiac should schedule Passover as a University holiday and forsake Easter, then we can have Columbus Day off in return for not viewing Yom Kippur as fundamentally more important than a celebration for a man who committed imperialist genocide.


About Jordan Herman