Yom Kippur starts tonight, October 11, and Jewish people worldwide are preparing for 25 hours straight of fasting and prayer. If you’re not familiar with the holiday, you should really learn more about the holiest day of the Jewish year! Click through for five important facts!
1. Yom Kipper is a holy day
In fact, Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year. Yom Kippur comes on the 10th day of the Jewish month of Tishri, and is the “day of atonement.” It appears in the Torah, in Leviticus 16:1-34; 18:1-30 and in Numbers 29: 7-11.
2. When is Yom Kippur?
Yom Kippur in 2016 is a one-day event, beginning the night of Tuesday, October 11, at sundown, and ending at nightfall on Wednesday, October 12. The holiday is observed for 25 hours.
3. Yom Kippur is a day of fasting and praying
For what’s called the “Sabbath of Sabbaths,” Jews fast for the full 25 hours, and pray throughout the day in five different sessions: Maariv, Shacharit, Musaf, Minchah and Neilah. For Orthodox Jews and the extremely devout, no bathing, working, wearing leather or having sex is allowed, either.
4. It’s also the day of atonement
On the Jewish calendar, the “10 days of repentance” begin with Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and end with Yom Kippur. On Yom Kipper, the devout atone for their sins from the past year and beg for forgiveness from God.
5. It ends in a celebration
In the last hours of Yom Kippur, people gather in synagogues for closing prayers. The day concludes with the blowing of the shofar. This is a large ritual musical instrument carved from the horn of a ram. After the closing prayers, everyone is free to eat again — or work, or take a shower, or put on their leather jackets and shoes, or have sex!
HollywoodLifers, are you observing Yom Kippur? Tell us in the comments!