Traditions before Yom Kippur observance

The holy Yom Kippur of the Jews is a sacred occasion much like the hallowed festivals of other religions. But this particular Jewish event requires a lot of preparation and the observance of many traditional customs on the part of the pious members of the Jewish community. Know about it all with "Traditions before Yom Kippur observance", a highly interesting article from TheHolidaySpot. If you enjoy reading this article, click here and pass it on to all those who you think will enjoy it too. Have a sacred Yom Kippur observance!

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Kaparot

The Kaparot (atonement) service is performed early morning with a live chicken () which is then donated to charity.

"Kaparot" is a unique tradition that is observed early in the morning of the Yom Kippur eve or even earlier and forms a part of the atonement service of Yom Kippur. In this singular custom, one has to take a fowl (not doves) or money in the right hand and recite a prayer from the prayer book. Traditionally a man holds a rooster and a woman takes a hen. A woman who is about to give birth holds two fowls, a hen and a rooster - one for herself and the other on behalf of the baby inside her. The fowl used should preferably be white, representing purity and purgation from sin. In the absence of fowls, fishes can also be used.


Lekach

The "Lekach", or the Jewish honey cake is one of the traditional Yom Kippur dishes. A kind of sponge cake, it is formed with the addition of honey, cinnamon and coffee or tea. It is a common custom for the Jews to have this sweet delicacy on Yom Kippur eve. A Jew must ask for "lekach" from his parents or a guardian. This symbolic food represents the hope that if God wills that if a Jewish person needs a handout from others in the course of the year, it should be satisfied with this asking for food.


Festive Meal

Feasts are an inseparable part of any festival and Yom Kippur, despite being primarily a sacred occasion, is a time to eat and drink in lots. The heavy meal on Erev Yom Kippur (Yom Kippur eve) gives the body the required strength to undergo a strict fast on the Yom Kippur day. On Erev Yom Kippur, it is customary to have two meals, one in the morning, and the other just before at night just before the time of Yom Kippur. But one should refrain from very heavy dishes and eat only light foods such as fish (only in the morning meal) and chicken (in the evening meal) that are easy to digest so that the health does not suffer out of indigestion. Intoxicating drinks are prohibited on Erev Yom Kippur.


Mikvah

The "Mikvah" is another important custom of Erev Yom Kippur. This significant tradition requires every Jew to take a bath which symbolizes an act of purification from all sins before participation in the Yom Kippur observances. The practice started as early as during the lifetime of the Prophets.


Charity

Charitable activities form a significant aspect of Yom Kippur. If you are a Jew of able means, you are traditionally expected to donate generously on Erev Yom Kippur. The giving of charity money, known as "tzedakah" is a mark of great virtue. Contribution of the "tzedakah" ensures protection against harsh orders.


Afternoon Prayers

The most important prayer on Erev Yom Kippur is the "Al Chet" confession prayer which is recited during the afternoon, before the Amidah prayer ends. This holy prayer is central to Yom Kippur and is customarily recited for eight times during the holy day.


Bless the Children

Traditionally, if you have children you must bless them after the evening meal. Sons are normally blessed with such wishes as: "May G-d make you like Ephraim and Manasseh" while daughters receive benediction with words like "May G-d make you like Sarah, Rebbeca, Rachel, and Leah".


Change Your Shoes

Wearing of leather footwear or any shoe made from any animal skin is strictly prohibited on Yom Kippur. In case you are wearing a leather shoe or slipper, you must change it with a plastic or canvas one before the candle lighting service begins on Yom Kippur.


Light Candles

"Erev Yom Kippur" ends with the lighting of candles. 18 minutes before sundown, the womenfolk or the female head of a Jewish household should light candles and recite prayers. The customary prayers for this time are: "Ba-ruch a-tah ado-nai e-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-olam asher ki-deshanu be-mitzvo-tav ve-tzvi-vanu le-hadlik ner shel Yom HaKipurim" (Blessed are You, L-rd, our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us to kindle the light of Yom Kippur.) and "Ba-ruch a-tah ado-nai e-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-olam she-heche-ya-nu ve-ki-yi-ma-nu ve-higi-a-nu liz-man ha-zeh" (Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.)
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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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