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5 Things to Know About Yom Kippur

Important Jewish holiday – Day of Atonement – begins Friday evening.

Yom Kippur, also known as Day of Atonement, begins at 6:46 Friday evening and ends at 7:45 Saturday evening. Rabbi Chanoch Hadar of the shares five things everyone should know about the holiday:

History

The 10th day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei was when God granted forgiveness to the Israelites for their grave sin of worshiping the Golden Calf. Biblically, it was then ordained as Yom Kippur, which means the Day of Atonement, the annual occasion when Jews are able to internally cleanse themselves and create a fresh start.

Significance

Yom Kippur is the most revered day on the Jewish calendar. Though a very serious day, many non-Jews are surprised to learn it is traditionally regarded as the most joyous Jewish holiday, due to the clean slate it offers.

Restrictions

There are five prohibited activities on Yom Kippur: It is forbidden to eat or drink, wear leather footwear, wash, anoint oneself and engage in marital relations. The abstinence from physical pleasures is in line with the angelic experience Jews undergo at this time. Sabbath restrictions also apply.

Preparations

Though God will grant atonement for sins directed toward him, he cannot forgive the harm or hurt people have inflicted upon others. Therefore, in anticipation of Yom Kippur, Jews are encouraged make extra efforts to ask forgiveness from family, friends and acquaintances. Candles are lit right before the holiday to honor the day.

Observance

Yom Kippur is dominated by prayer. It is the only day when five prayers are conducted. Each prayer is packed with poetic renditions of God’s glory and kindness, but also with prescribed confessions and a road map to bettering oneself.

The Woodward Avenue Shul invites everyone to join its Yom Kippur services. The services are traditional but very active and user-friendly. There is no charge. Visit woodwardshul.org, email woodwardshul@gmail.com or call 248-414-SHUL (7485).

KH October 06, 2011 at 11:33 AM
My favorite part of this High Holiday is Kol Nidre. Hearing the beautiful voices of our cantor and choir singing these prayers makes me cry. I don't care what's going on, I never miss it. At the end of Yom Kippur , hearing our Rabbi call out and the shofar is blown has the same effect on me. That g-d has shown us/ the world mercy and love to try and do better for the year.....
safa abufarha October 07, 2011 at 02:40 PM
wallah its beautiful the mening of it i wish we all apply it to our daily life , forgive each other , no matter what religon we have, wish all happy holiday, by the the its the same story we have in our holly quran, its good to know we are on the same path, i wish all our kids they get educated on diversity religon , so they avoid any mistake toward each other.

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