The sunset that brought Yom Kippur to an end came in the midst of a University of Wisconsin football game in front of 82,179 fans in which Matt Bernstein led his team to victory over Penn State by running 123 yards.
Bernstein decided to play on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, but he did not ignore the holiday. In an effort to observe Yom Kippur, Bernstein began his fast a few hours before the holiday began on Friday, and ended 24 hours later, just seconds after the opening coin toss at 4:45 p.m. He devoured some slices of turkey and orange, and after a few gulps of water took to the field, where he helped his team improve to a 4-0 record and maintain their 20th-place ranking in the national polls.
"I got to temple and I fasted and I got to play the game," the 270-pound Bernstein told the Forward several days after the game. "I really tried to get everything in as good as possible."
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