Guide ATONEMENT DAY - All The Bible Teaches About

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Yad, Teshuvah , and hence one should repent during the Ten Days of Penitence, and particularly on the Day of Atonement ibid. The Day of Atonement is the only one of the appointed seasons which has no second day in the Diaspora. This is because of the extreme difficulty of fasting for two successive days. Moses of Vienna, Or Zaru'a , 2 , no. The laws of the Day of Atonement remained essentially the same during the Middle Ages as they were in the days of the Second Temple and in the mishnaic and talmudic periods. Additions and variations were limited to the domain of customs and prayers.

No definite knowledge is available about the Day of Atonement prayers during the period of the Second Temple. According to Philo Spec. This is perhaps the source of the Muslim custom of praying five times a day but see L. The subject of the distinctive middle blessing of the Amidah prayer of the Day of Atonement is God's pardoning, forgiving, and granting atonement for Israel's iniquities see, e.

The prayers of the Day of Atonement and of the New Year have many common features, and at times some of the prayers peculiar to the New Year have passed into the prayers of the Day of Atonement. Though statutory on "the eve of the Day of Atonement close to nightfall," confession is made both prior to the last meal before the fast "lest he become confused while eating and drinking" , and after it "lest some mishap occurred during the meal" , as well as at each of the Day of Atonement services, the individual saying it after the Amidah proper and the reader in the middle of it Tosef.

Confession is now said once in the afternoon prayer on the eve of the Day of Atonement and ten times during the Day itself. Forms of confession are already to be found among the amoraim Yoma 87b; TJ , Yoma , 45c , some of which are currently in use. Versions written alphabetically have been preserved from the early Middle Ages.

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The short form of confession "We have trespassed, we have dealt treacherously," etc. Some added special psalms before the morning prayers. Sofer , The day concludes with the blowing of the shofar, a series of phrases in praise of God, and ends with "Next Year in Jerusalem. In the morning service six people are called to the reading of the Torah Meg.

Learn about Yom Kippur from a Christian perspective

During the afternoon service three men are called to the reading of the Torah of Leviticus 18, which deals with incest prohibitions and which is a continuation of the morning reading of the Torah according to the ancient custom which still exists in Italy. The haftarah is the Book of Jonah and Micah —20, whose subject is ideal repentance and its effect, and God's forgiving mercy Meg. Many customs have their origin in the Middle Ages, especially among the Ashkenazi Jews. Thus it is customary to arrange the table for the eve of the Day of Atonement in the same manner as the Sabbath Sefer Ravyah , ed.

Day of Atonement (Forerunner Commentary)

Aptowitzer 2 , no. This last custom also passed into Italy and Provence, and it became a widespread custom to wear a white robe called kittel. Freimann, Very significant is the custom which originated in Germany in the days of the tosafists, and which became law, to light candles at home and recite a blessing over them. In addition to this candle and to that kindled according to ancient custom in order to prevent cohabitation, which is forbidden this day Pes. Urbach ed. Azriel, 3 , , notes 35—36 and a candle for the souls of the dead Sefer ha-Minhagot of Abraham b.


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Saul of Lunel in S. Asaf, Sifran shel Rishonim , Hurwitz , The custom of donating for charity was also adopted in Provence, Italy, and Spain, whereas the special prayer commemorating the dead was adopted only among the Ashkenazim and the Italians. Northern France is the place of the source of the custom of wearing a tallit also for the evening service, which is even put on while it is still day in order to be able to recite the blessing over it Rashi, Ha-Pardes , ed. In Germany it was fixed that in the evening, just at the beginning of the prayer, "absolution is granted from the ban against praying together with anyone guilty of transgressing any communal regulations" Sefer Ravyah , no.

The formula "In the higher [i. Some, however, said the blessing at home, or on the way to the synagogue, or even after the evening prayer. Women recite it when they kindle the festive candles. There is a tone of desperation in the prayers of this service. The service is sometimes referred to as the closing of the gates; think of it as the "last chance" to get in a good word before the holiday ends. The service ends with a very long blast of the shofar.

After Yom Kippur, one should begin preparing for the next holiday, Sukkot, which begins five days later.


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Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakkai said concerning a king, "Should he fine me, his penalty is not eternal" for I would be able to earn more money. How much more so should one fear the judgment of the King of Kings, whose verdict is eternal. Yom Kippur is a day designed to bring Jews closer to G-d and encourages return to him through the process of Teshuvah. Though the Yom Kippur service was, during the times of the Temple, focused around the Kohen Gadol, today each individual focuses on himself and his personal Avodah, service to G-d.

Known as a day of prayer, Yom Kippur does have numerous prayers associated with it. Most revolve around the central theme of repentance and return.

Apparently, Jews everywhere find a connection to Judaism through Yom Kippur. Indeed, Yom Kippur brings more Jews to shul than any other holiday. The laws for Yom Kippur include all of the work restrictions found on Shabbos.

10. The Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16)

In addition, there are 5 ennuim, afflictions, which a person is also not allowed to do on Yom Kippur. These are eating or drinking, washing one's body, anointing one's body, wearing leather shoes and marital relations. The most famous restriction of Yom Kippur is, of course, fasting. The intention of fasting is not to torture ourselves or to punish ourselves for the sins we have done. Rather, fasting help us to transcend our physical natures. Praying without concern for food allows us to completely focus on the prayers. All have the purpose of focusing a person on the task at hand for Yom Kippur.

The Kuzari, Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi, points out that, "the fast of the pious man is such that eye, ear and tongue share in it, that he regards nothing except that which brings him near to G-d. Traditionally, "all who eat on the ninth are considered to have fasted on the ninth AND the tenth.

This both gives us strength for the fast and substitutes for the usual Yom Tov meals, which cannot be eaten on Yom Kippur because of the fast. It is customary to give increased charity on Erev Yom Kippur as charity helps to repeal any evil decrees. Even the great day of Yom Kippur or death cannot atone for sins against fellow man. Thus - it is customary to go visit or at least call friends, family, associates and any person whom one may have somehow wronged or spoken ill of in the past year and ask forgiveness. For example, any stolen objects must be returned to their rightful owners.

Any person you have spoken Loshen Hara, evil gossip, about, should be asked for their forgiveness. It is a mitzvah to immerse oneself in a mikvah ritual bath on Erev Yom Kippur. This symbolizes a person's rebirth associated with the doing of Teshuvah, return. Men have this custom universally, and women have different customs concerning mikvah Erev Yom Kippur.

Kaparot - An ancient and mystical custom designed to imbue people with a feeling that their very lives are at stake as the holy Yom Kippur approaches. The kaparot ceremony symbolizes our sins crying out for atonement, and as a reminder that our good deeds, charity and repentance can save us from the penalty our many sins deserve. In its original form, a chicken a white rooster for a male, hen for a female was taken and waved over one's head while reciting proscribed verses which can be found in the Yom Kippur machzor special prayer book.

It was customary to then redeem the kaparot for money, which was given to charity.