Yom Kippur is the Jewish day of atonement. It commemorates the return of the biblical Moses from the mountain with the second set of tablets. Atonement is making good or settling all of the bad stuff left around from the previous year. The holiest Jewish day of the year is a fast that many spend praying for forgiveness in synagogue.
An appropriate greeting is “Yom Tov” which is Hebrew for, “Have a good holy day.” You can also say “G’mar chatima tova,” which means, “may you be sealed in the book of life.”
Yom Kippur 2023
Sundown, Sunday-Monday, September 24-25, 2023.
Yom Kippur Traditions
Yom Kippur is the end of the High Holidays which start ten days before on Rosh Hashanah, or forty days before for the more devout.
Since Yom Kippur is a fast, we prepare for it with a feast on the afternoon before. There we eat fruits with honey and honey cakes.
Yom Kippur is from sundown to sundown. During Yom Kippur we observe five prohibitions:
- No eating or drinking
- No wearing leather shoes
- No washing or bathing
- No wearing perfumes
- No marital relations
The idea is that by suffering, one can better understand another’s suffering. It’s a ritual cleansing of all the bad stuff from the prior year.
At synagogue we read special prayers.
Once night falls, we feast again.
Then we prepare for Sukkot.