Reflection Time in Yom Kippur


Posted By: Miquela Berge

Reflection Time in Yom Kippur

G’mar Hatima Tov! Every year, followers of Judaism celebrate the holiday known as Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The holiday falls on the tenth day of the Hebrew month, Tishrei, so while the exact date is never the same each year, Yom Kippur almost always occurs at the end of September or the beginning of October. According to tradition, God determines one’s own fate on Yom Kippur. For this reason observant Jews spend Yom Kippur praying, enacting in good deeds such as charity, making amends, and going through a process of self-examination. In order to purify the body, followers will partake in a twenty-five hour long fast where working and bathing is also prohibited. Other items that are also refrained from use on this day consist of leather and perfumes, especially among orthodox Jews. Essentially, Yom Kippur is a time of connection and self-reflection.             The day before Yom Kippur is usually spent in prayer and meditation. There is also a pre-fast meal known as seudah ha mafaseket (meal of separation), which usually contains rice, stuffed dumplings known as kreplach, challah(bread), and fish. This is also a time where friends come together to apologize to one another for past grievances and offences, as receiving forgiveness from a close friend also signifies forgiveness from God. Likewise, on the day of Yom Kippur, most observant Jews spend their time in the Synagogue attending services that last throughout the day with readings of the Torah and other prayers. The services at the temple are finally concluded by the blowing of a special and ritual horn called the shofar, which also marks the end of the fast. Non-observant Jews may also attend services, but some may also opt to simply take the day off from work and simply take time to observe themselves and their relationships with others and God. The conclusion of Yom Kippur is followed by a large feast that consists of breakfast-like food like sweet kugel (noodle pudding), bagels, quiches, eggs, soups, and sometimes briskets.

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