Everything you need to know about Yom Kippur in Derbyshire
Yom Kippur is the most important and well-known Jewish tradition of the calendar year. But what takes place during it?
Known as the “Sabbath of Sabbaths”, Yom Kippur is the most widely observed of all the Jewish holy days. It begins at sunset of the previous day – in 2021, it will commence on late September 15th and end on September 16th. In 2022, the two days will occur on the 4th and 5th of October.
Yom Kippur has a strong connection with repentance and atonement. While it is a day of rest and fasting, it is also a day of prayer and forgiveness entrenched in religious meaning and significance.
But what actually takes place on the day itself? Let’s take a look and find out.
What happens on Yom Kippur?
Yom Kippur is preceded by Erev Yom Kippur, which translates as “Yom Kippur Eve”. On this day, Jews will perform special morning prayers, seek forgiveness from others and engage in acts of philanthropy. In addition, they will take part in a further prayer service in the afternoon and usually will eat two traditional Jewish meals.
The day itself usually contains a day-long fast and a strict incentive to rest. Furthermore, other restrictions include no bathing, wearing perfume (“anointing” oneself), wearing leather shoes and no marital relations are to take place.
An abundance of prayers are recited on Yom Kippur, with most of the day generally being spent in a Synagogue. Here, Jews will have a chance to repent for any sins they may have committed over the past year.
The number five is significant to Yom Kippur – as such, there are five prayer services throughout the day (as well as the previously mentioned five restrictions). They are: Ma’ariv, Shacharit, Mussaf, Mincha and Ne’ilah. Additionally, in the Yom Kippur section of the Torah (the first part of the Bible in Judaism) the word “soul” is used on five different occasions.
Some branches of Judaism may perform the prayers differently, or in the case of Reconstructionists, remove them from the day’s proceedings entirely.
Why is it important?
Yom Kippur marks the tenth day of Tishrei in the Hebrew Calendar, which starts with Rosh Hashanah. This also brings an end to the annual Jewish High Holy Days. "Yom” means “day” while “Kippur” roughly translates as “atonement”.
It is considered to be the holiest day of the year in Judaism, and as such is celebrated by secular Jews as well as orthodox Jews. It allows them to be free of any previous sins they may have committed and begin the new year afresh. In the prayer service of Vudui, observers confess their wrongdoings and ask for forgiveness.
Jews believe that Yom Kippur coincides with the same day that Moses received the second set of Ten Commandments in the Holy Bible. Moreover, it is considered to be the same day where the Israelites were given atonement for the Golden Calf’s sins (worshipping of a false idol).
Many Jewish athletes, such as Sandy Coufax and Bill Goldberg, have refused to partake in sports on Yom Kippur due to its religious significance.