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Yom Kippur FAQ

What is Yom Kippur?

Yom Kippur is known as the Day of Atonement. It is a 25-hour period of fasting and intense prayer. It is a day of seeking forgiveness for wrongs done against Gone and fellow human beings. The evening and day of Yom Kippur are set aside for both public and private petitions and confessions of guilt. At the end of the day, one should consider themselves absolved by God.

Because of the long fasting, Jewish law requires one to eat a large and festive meal on the afternoon before Yom Kippur after the Mincha (afternoon) prayer.

When is Yom Kippur?

It is the tenth day of Tishri. It begins on the 9th of Tishri at sundown and ends at sundown on the tenth. However, abstention from food and drink begins 30 minutes before sundown and ends 30 minutes after sundown (some communities celebrate it at sundown and then until 1 hour after sundown on the tenth).

What is the origin of Yom Kippur and when was it first observed?

Yom Kippur began after Moses came down from Mount Sinai for the second time after breaking the original tablet of the Ten Commandments. The Israelites were worshiping a golden calf which caused a separation between them and God. To make up for this, they fasted, prayed, and repented. Ever since, the tradition has remained to hold it at the end of the holy ays of Rosh Hashana.

Why do we fast on Yom Kippuur?

You fast by not eating food or drinking liquids.

What was the 1973 Yom Kippur War?

The Yom Kippur War was a surprise attack on Israel by Egypt and Syria on the day of Yom Kippur. The war lasted 20 days and is considered a failure by many Israelis. Even with the loss of land and loss of 2,700 lives, Israel did receive one win from the war--its first recognition as a nation from Egypt.

When does Yom Kippur End?

Yom Kippur ends at sundown on the 10th of Tishri, but abstenation from food and drink ends 30 minutes after sundown (or an hour depending on the 25 hour period).

What to wear on Yom Kippur?

White clothes are customary and leather shoes should not be worn. As well, perfumes, colognes, and lotions should not be used.


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