rosh hashana, yom kippur, sukkot, simchat torah, shmini atzeret,chanukah,hanukkah,purim,pesach,passover,shavuot, lag ba'omer,tisha b'av|
Yom Kippur - Preparation
By: Rivka C. Berman, Contributor
Click Here for More Holiday Articles
Preparing for Yom Kippur
The holy day
Kippur marks the climax of the Ten Days of Repentance (Aseret Yemei
Teshuvah). As such the day preceding Yom Kippur is replete with
anticipation and special custom:
The eve of Yom Kippur is characterized by a solemn yet optimistic mood.
It is a mitzvah to eat well before Yom Kippur. Some say that this
reflects the joy and relief that the upcoming atonement will offer.
Others suggest that, besides providing strength for the fast, a generous
meal on the afternoon before Yom Kippur replaces the missing festive
meal that accompanies Jewish holidays.
It is customary not to partake of fish or intoxicating drinks at this
Since, according to tradition, the merit of charity shields against an
unfavorable decree, it is customary to give in a liberal spirit before
Asking Forgiveness from Others
Yom Kippur atones only for sins between man and God. It is essential for
sins between man and his fellow "to be righted." It is thus meritorious
to ask for forgiveness from those one might have wronged, and to forgive
others in a liberal spirit.
Immersion in a Mikvah (Ritual Bath)
Many pious Jews immerse themselves in a ritual bath before the Day of
Atonement in order to enter into the penitent spirit in as "pure" a
manner as possible.
Honoring the Festival
We honor the festival with festive clothing and a Shabbat atmosphere in
Customarily, Jews wear white on Yom Kippur, as it symbolizes purity and
of the promise that as we repent and ask for forgiveness, God will
transform our sins so they are “white as snow” (Is. 1:18). Many Jewish
men wear a “Kittel,” a white cotton robe atop of their suit to remind
themselves of human mortality. (Traditionally, Jews are buried in white
Candle Lighting and Blessings:
"Baruch ata A-do-nai eloheinu
melech haolam asher kideshanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu lehadlik ner shel Shabbat veYom HaKippurim"
"Baruch ata A-do-nai eloheinu melech
haolam shehecheyanu vekiymanu vehigianu lazman hazeh" which respectively
usher in the Shabbat (this year) and festival, and express our gratitude
to God for our living to enjoy this auspicious occasion.
Many also light Yahrzeit candles for the departed, for: "The soul of man
is the candle of God."
Mazor Guide for Yom Kippur brings you much more about
the holiday, its meaning and its traditions... See the links below.