September 28, 2009

Yom Kippur - The Holiest Jewish Day of the Year


Thanks to Wikipedia here is a bit of information on this day with amazing history.
Yom Kippur (Hebrew: יוֹם כִּפּוּר‎, IPA: [ˈjɔm kiˈpur]), also known as the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year for religious Jews. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with an approximately 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. Yom Kippur completes the annual period known in Judaism as the High Holy Days.
Yom Kippur is the tenth day of the month of Tishrei. According to Jewish tradition, God inscribes each person's fate for the coming year into a "book" on Rosh Hashanah and waits until Yom Kippur to "seal" the verdict. During the Days of Awe, a Jew tries to amend his or her behavior and seek forgiveness for wrongs done against God (bein adam leMakom) and against other human beings (bein adam lechavero). The evening and day of Yom Kippur are set aside for public and private petitions and confessions of guilt (Vidui). At the end of Yom Kippur, one considers one's self absolved by God.
The Yom Kippur prayer service includes several unique aspects. One is the actual number of prayer services. Unlike a regular day, which has three prayer services (Ma'ariv, the evening prayer; Shacharit, the morning prayer; and Mincha, the afternoon prayer), or a Shabbat or Yom Tov, which have four prayer services (Ma'ariv; Shacharit; Musaf, the additional prayer; and Mincha), Yom Kippur has five prayer services (Ma'ariv; Shacharit; Musaf; Mincha; and Ne'ilah, the closing prayer). The prayer services also include a public confession of sins (Vidui) and a unique prayer dedicated to the special Yom Kippur avodah (service) of the Kohen Gadol in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
Yom Kippur is considered one of the holiest of Jewish holidays and it is observed by many secular Jews who may not observe other holidays. Many secular Jews fast and attend synagogue on Yom Kippur, where the number of worshippers attending is often double or triple[citation needed] the normal attendance. Many other Jews choose not to fast[1].

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As a Christian I can learn so much from the Jewish traditions. This is a powerful day. Thank you God for all those who have prepared the way for us today.

1 comments:

Sarah said...

You really need to start getting the paper then you could just link to the article that Stirman lady wrote about Yom Kippur. Fascinating to research, it reminded me of the Catholic tradition of seeking atonement through the season of Lent.