History of Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur which is the Day of Atonement is considered to be the most important holiday in the Jewish calendar. Observed in the month of Tishrei (September or October according to the Gregorian calendar), this festival marks the culmination of the 10 Days of Awe, which is a period of introspection and repentance that follows the Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Find out more about the history associated with the celebration and about the customs and traditions that are duly observed with the celebration. Once you are done reading the article make sure you forward this page to your near ones by clicking here, so that they as well get to acquaint themselves with the history associated.

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Welcome to History of Yom KippurYom Kippur, the Day of atonement, is the most sacred of the Jewish holidays. It is regarded as the "Sabbath of Sabbaths."

By Yom Kippur the 40 days of repentance, that begin with the first of Elul, have passed. On Rosh Hashanah the God Almighty has judged most of mankind and has recorded his judgment in the Book of Life. But he has given a 10 day reprieve.

On Yom Kippur these 10 days of reprieve ends and the Book of Life is closed and sealed. Those who have repented for their sins are granted a good and happy New Year.

Since Yom Kippur is the day to ask forgiveness for promises broken to God , the day before is reserved for asking forgiveness for broken promises between people, as God cannot forgive broken promises between people.

The Customs or Minhagim:

Yom Kippur is a day of "NOT" doing. There is no blowing of the Shofar and Jews may not eat or drink, as fasting is the rule. It is believed that to fast on Yom Kippur is to emulate the angels in heaven, who do not eat, drink, or wash.

The Five Prohibitions of Yom Kippur:
  • Eating and drinking
  • Anointing with perfumes or lotions
  • Marital relations
  • Washing
  • Wearing leather shoes
Fasting:
While Yom Kippur is devoted to fasting, the day before is devoted to eating. According to the The Talmud the person "who eats on the ninth of Tishri (and fasts on the tenth) , it is as if he had fasted both the ninth and tenth." Prayer is also down played so that Jews can concentrate on eating and preparing for the fast.

The Prayer and Confession:
On the eve of Yom Kippur the community joins at the synagogue. Men put on prayer shawls (not usually worn in the evenings). Then as the night falls the cantor begins the "Kol Nidre", it is repeated 3 times, each time in a louder voice. The Kol Nidre emphasizes the importance in keeping vows, as violating an oath is one of the worst sins.

An important part of the Yom Kippur service is the "Vidui" (Viduy) or confession. The confessions serve to help reflect on ones misdeeds and to confess them verbally is part of the formal repentance in asking G-d's forgiveness. Because community and unity are an important part of Jewish Life, the confessions are said in the plural (We are guilty).

As Yom Kippur ends, at the last hour a service called "Ne'ila" (Neilah) offers a final opportunity for repentance. It is the only service of the year during which the doors to the Ark (where the Torah scrolls are stored) remain open from the beginning to end of the service, signifying that the gates of Heaven are open at this time.
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Yom Kippur Main History Yom Kippur Activities Wallpapers Greeting cards
Home Gift Ideas Games Break the Fast Recipes Jewish Pics to Color
Yom Kippur List of Dates Jewish Quotes for Yom Kippur Clothing and Jewellery Yom Kippur Craft Ideas Stories
Preparing for Yom Kippur Presidential Proclamation Puzzle Activities for Yom Kippur Jewish Festivals Send this page
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