How to Observe Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is one of the most widely-observed Jewish holidays. It takes place 10 days after Rosh Hashanah (the start of the Jewish New Year), and is generally a time for introspection, repentance, prayer, and forgiveness of past misdeeds toward anyone you may have wronged. This article offers some advice on how to properly observe Yom Kippur.
Find out if Yom Kippur falls on a weekday.If this is the case, let your job or school know in advance that you will be absent as you will be spending most of Yom Kippur in the synagogue.
Understand the five basic, major prohibitions of Yom Kippur.They are as follows (in no particular order):
- No eating or drinking
- No bathing or washing
- No wearing leather shoes
- No anointing (i.e. applying creams, lotion, makeup)
- No engaging in marital relations
Realize that Yom Kippur begins at sundown the night before and ends after sundown the next day.For this reason, eat a very filling pre-fast meal and drink plenty of fluids (ideally water) before the holiday starts.
Attend the Kol Nidre service at your synagogue.The service lasts about an hour and a half altogether. Wear white if possible.
Attend your synagogue on the morning of Yom Kippur.Depending on your level of observance, many people stay in the synagogue for the whole day, only leaving for a short break in the afternoon.
After sundown, eat a very filling, break-fast meal.
QuestionIf I don't have a temple to go to on Yom Kippur what else can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe main commandments of Yom Kippur are to refrain from 1. Eating and Drinking; 2. Sexual relations; 3. Anointing the skin with oils; 4. Washing any part of the body, including rinsing the mouth; 5. Wearing leather footwear. It is also necessary is to repent from one's sins. The actual prayers do not ruin the Yom Kippur if not recited.Thanks!
QuestionIs turning lamps on and off permitted on Yom Kippur?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo. Yom Kippur, though a fast day, has most of the same restrictions as Shabbat, so one is not permitted to turn lamps on and off.Thanks!
- As you read the High Holiday prayer book, reflect on the mistakes you have made and the sins you have committed in the past year. Plan how you are going to avoid them in the future.
- Apologize to anyone you've hurt or wronged, and forgive them for wronging you.
- If you're a pregnant or nursing mother, speak to your rabbi about fasting.
- Some people sniff spices to curb hunger.
- Read or take a nap during the midday break.
Video: HOW WE OBSERVE YOM KIPPUR || DAY OF ATONEMENT|| FASTING
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