10 Tishrei 5775
Yom Kippur (Hebrew: יוֹם כִּפּוּר, IPA: [ˈjom kiˈpuʁ], or יום הכיפורים), also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jewish people traditionally observe this holy day with an approximate 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services.
Yom means “day” in Hebrew and Kippur comes from a root that means “to atone”. Yom Kippur is usually expressed in English as “day of atonement”.
Yom Kippur is “the tenth day of [the] seventh month” (Tishrei) and is regarded as the “Sabbath of Sabbaths”. Rosh Hashanah (referred to in the Torah as Yom Teruah) is the first day of that month according to the Hebrew calendar. On this day forgiveness of sins is also asked of God.
Yom Kippur completes the annual period known in Judaism as the High Holy Days or Yamim Nora’im (“Days of Awe”) that commences with Rosh Hashanah.
According to Jewish tradition, God inscribes each person’s fate for the coming year into a book, the Book of Life, 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 hopes that they have been forgiven by God.
Wikipedia contributors, “Yom Kippur,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed October 3, 2014).
“Weinles On the eve of Yom Kippur” by Jakub Weinles – cyfrowe.mnw.art.pl. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
“Gottlieb-Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur” by Maurycy Gottlieb – From Jewish Art, edited by Grace Cohen Grossman, ISBN 0-88363-695-6, page 199. Copied with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel with EF 50mm f/1.8 mounted on a copy stand at the UConn art department. ISO 100, f/8, 1/15s. The image was then cropped and level-adjusted with Gimp and saved with a JPEG quality of 0.95.. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons