Category — Day of Atonement
I’ve been asked a number of times what the proper greeting is on Yom Kippur ~ aka The Day of Atonement. The two main greetings are:
Have an Easy Fast ~ Traditionally a Jewish Person fasts on Yom Kippur for a period of approximately 25 hours. This is not an easy task for many.
G’Mar Chasima Tova ~ “May you be written in the “Book of Life” for a good year!”
(Traditionally… On Rosh Hashanah one’s fate is written in “The Book of Life” for the coming year ~ On Yom Kippur it is Sealed!)
Wishing You & Yours “An Easy Fast!”
Shalom and G’Mar Chasima Tova ~ May we be here next year to do it all over again,
September 27, 2009 No Comments
Yom Kippur ~ 5770
Directly quoted from my Yom Kippur in CyberSpace website.
The fast lasts from sundown Sunday, September 27, 2009 — (which is known as Erev Yom Kippur) until sunset Monday, Septmeber 28, 2009— which is about 25 hours. Candles are lit before leaving for temple services.
On this day G_d seals our fate for the coming year. (On Rosh Hashanah our fate is written in the Book of Life, and on Yom Kippur our fate is sealed!) We spend Yom Kippur in prayer, asking G_d to forgive us for our misdeeds and give us a good year.
As part of the Yom Kippur service — the eve of Yom Kippur — we honor our departed loved ones by lighting a memorial candle (Yahrzeit light). A memorial service is conducted the day of Yom Kippur which is called Yizkor. Each departed sole is memorialized with a different prayer, filling in the departed person’s name in Hebrew. As part of the service, the person donates to a charity in memory of their departed loved ones — which is sent in after the holiday is over.
Yom Kippur, is also known as the Day of Atonement. It is the holiest day of the Jewish faith. While the holiday is considered solemn, it is a happy day because we receive G_d’s forgiveness and the forgiveness of others — Friendship and love is more powerful than the wrongs that were done. When we receive the forgiveness of G_d, it is a sign of His eternal, unconditional love.
On Yom Kippur, we not only fast but are prohibited from:
- Working. No work is conducted on this day — just as none is on the Sabbath.
- No eating or drinking.
- No lotions or perfumes.
- No marital relations.
- No washing for pleasure.
- No leather shoes.
The Kol Nidre is the most important prayer of the Yom Kippur evening service. The prayer is chanted three times so that even people who are late arriving may be able to hear it. The first time, the Hazzan chants Kol Nidrei, it is chanted very softly, the second time it is chanted a little bit louder, and the third and final time he raises his voice louder and louder. Kol Nidre is chanted before sunset because dispensation from a vow may not be granted on the Sabbath or on a festival. Kol Nidre absolves us of any vows we make in the coming year.
Musaf is the afternoon service which lasts most of the afternoon. During Musaf the Amidah is recited in silence while standing facing east. Parts of this service are song to melodies that go back far into our history. During this service we recall the story of the Ten Martyrs who were killed by the Romans for studying the Torah. We also remember all the Martyrs everywhere who gave their lives so that our religion may continue.
As our judgment is being sealed, and the holiday of Yom Kippur is coming to a close, the final prayer of Neilah is chanted. Neilah, which means, The Closing of the Gates of Heaven. symbolizes that the future of each person will be sealed for the coming year and the Gates of Heaven will be closed. While we were closer to G_d during the Ten Days of Penitence, G_d will remain close to us throughout the coming year — at all times, and in all places. During Neilah, the doors of the Ark remain opened and the congregation must remain standing.
Throughout the Neilah service we pray to G_d to seal us in the Book of Life. From the start of Rosh Hashanah, we asked G_d to inscribe us in the Book of Life. As the Day of Judgment draws to a close, we pray to G_d to seal us in the Book of Life. As the light of day diminishes and this sacred day is coming to a close a great spiritual feeling overtakes the entire congregation. Neilah concludes with the recital of the Eternal Shema Yisroel. At this moment the single, long blast of the Shofar is sounded. Yom Kippur concludes with the words Next Year in Jerusalem — The fast is over with the sounding of the Shofar!
I hope this information was helpful and perhaps we can all come away learning a bit more of the Jewish faith at this special season of the year — a time to reflect, repent, ask forgiveness and ultimately start over and begin anew!
G’Mar Chasima Tova ~ May You and Yours be Written in “The Book of Life,” and Sealed for a Good Year.
September 27, 2009 No Comments