NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Last year, synagogues across the country shared a common Yom Kippur sermon theme: The 50th anniversary of Sandy Koufax declining to pitch in Game 1 of the 1965 World Series on the Day of Atonement.

But this year’s theme may be another matter entirely, CBS2’s Steve Langford reported.

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“There’s a great deal of anxiety, fear and trepidation,” Rabbi David Gelfand, of Temple Israel, said. “And yet the desire at the same time of these high holy days is always to give some perspective and to have the opportunity in the Jewish tradition to begin anew.”

Gelfand said this year’s Yom Kippur message cannot fail to address turmoil at home and abroad, while not making any specific political endorsements.

“It’s can’t be avoided in terms of the values which we are so concerned about, because we have seen so much vitriol that marginalizes people and minimizes people,” he said.

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It will be standing room only Tuesday night in the main sanctuary at Temple Israel on the Upper East Side, with grumbling stomachs echoing a common reflection.

“It isn’t so much the idea of the physical aspect of fasting but the fact that we are fasting to recognize that there are those who are hungry, and as well to put our minds not so much on what our next meal is as much as to look internally,” Gelfand explained.

The blast of the shofar will signal a note of the New Year’s celebration.

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“If ever there was a year in which we need some renewal, surely this one is that.” Gelfand said.