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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Yom Kippur?

Yom Kippur is a Jewish fast day that is associated as the most solemn day of the year. According to tradition, God seals the Book of Life and Death for the upcoming year, so the day is devoted to repent over sins committed from the previous year.

How do we observe it?

Yom Kippur is a time to separate from human functionalities such as eating, drinking, showering, wearing leather shoes, and having sexual relations. There is also a tradition to dress in all white. The day is centered around going to synagogue, where longer services are said throughout the day, followed by the closing prayer of Neilah, where the liturgy imagines the heavenly gates closing at the end of the High Holidays.

What does it mean?

The overall theme of Yom Kippur revolves around repentenece, where the community asks to be forgiven of all previous sings and to be written in the Book of Life.

What is the history behind Yom Kippur?

Rituals for Yom Kippur go back to biblical times but during the period of the Second Temple, Yom Kippur was seen as an important day of mourning and repentance. It was an important day on the Jewish calendar during the Rabbinic time period and maintained an important status through modern time.

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