What is Yom Kippur-Day of Atonement? For those of you who are unfamiliar, here is a quick blast from the past. A lesson in the history of what is the Holiest day in the Hebrew calendar.
Yom Kippur-Day of Atonement memorializes the day when G-D forgave the Jewish people for the sin of worshipping the Golden Calf. He had clearly commanded at Mount Sinai, “You shall not have the gods of others in My presence; you shall not make for yourself a graven image.” It took the offending Jews just forty days to forget this. As a consequence of their stupidity, poor Moses spent almost three months at the top of Mount Sinai pleading with G-D for forgiveness. On the 10th of Tishrei , forgiveness was eventually granted and as the saying goes, “I have pardoned, as you have requested.” So Moses did good!
Yom Kippur is the day that we are closest to G-D and experience the essence of our souls. On this sacred day, we are obliged to atone for our sins, repent for any bad conduct and ask humbly for forgiveness. It is on this day, the Day of Atonement that the Almighty shows His compassion and mercy by forgiving our sins. He will purify our souls so we can feel cleansed from our past behaviour and start afresh in a goodly manner. (Leviticus 16:30)
Several minutes before sunset on the 9th of Tishrei, which coincides this year with 11th October 2016, we will fast for almost twenty-six hours. That is, we will abstain from eating, drinking, washing, brushing teeth, smoking or any other form of sustenance or addiction. The very religious among us do not wear leather footwear and abstain from marital relations during the fast. Not surprisingly difficult when feeling physically undernourished and with a bad taste in the mouth!
Prior to Yom Kippur-Day of Atonement, a religious service called Kaparot is performed. At our request in this service, we receive Honey Cake. This acknowledges that we are all recipients of G-D’s grace. We are hopeful through our prayers at this time, to enjoy a Sweet and fulfilling New Year.
The fast begins with a light meal in the late afternoon. Traditionally we bless our families and light a memorial candle for those we have loved and lost. We then trot rather slowly to the nearest synagogue for the Kol Nidrei service.(Vows)
You will never loose weight during Yom Kippur, not even in 2016 but you will definitely feel cleansed. Hopefully in body, if not in soul. Fast well and may you be signed up in the good book, my Sweet Friends. After all, “Next Year in Jerusalem”!
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