Sundown Tuesday marked the beginning of Yom Kippur, one of the holiest days in the Jewish calendar, and lasts until sundown Wednesday. In honor of this Day of Atonement for the Jewish community, we present five things to know about the holiday.
Information from chabad.org. Details about what is going on at the Chabad Jewish Center of Basking Ridge are on the center's Facebook page.
- Day of Atonement—On this day, the Jewish community asks for forgiveness for all sins throughout the year. It is the most solemn day of the year, but also a hopeful one when Jews hope and are confident that their sins will be forgiven.
- Fasting—During Yom Kippur, for a total of 26 hours, no food is eaten while everyone spends the time in the synagogue focused on prayer for the duration of the day.
- 5 Prayer Services—There are a total of five prayer services held throughout the course of the day, including the reading of the Book of Jonah and the ending service that is symbolizing the closing of the gates after it has been decided whether people will be inscribed in the Book of Life for another year.
- Abstaining—The Torah instructs Jews to afflict themselves on Yom Kippur, which means they are supposed to abstain from physical pleasures, including eating. This allows for a focus on a connection to God.
- Joyous Night—The evening after the holiday has ended is supposed to be a joyous occasion because Jews are confident that all their sins have been forgiven and they can start the year clean.