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,
and pass it on to all those who you think will enjoy it too. Have a sacred
Yom Kippur observance!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
"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.)