How do you celebrate Yom Kippur

What is Yom Kippur?

Yom Kippur or Yom ha-Kippurim is celebrated on the 14th of the Jewish calendar month Tishri, which can be in September or October of the Gregorian calendar. According to the Jewish calendar, it is the tenth day after the beginning of the new year and the New Year festival Rosh Hashanah. The days between the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur serve for inner contemplation and repentance. Jews confess their sins and ask God for reconciliation. At the same time, however, it is also about putting relationships with others in order and pacifying conflicts.

The religious origin

On Mount Sinai, Moses asked God for forgiveness

From a religious point of view, Yom Kippur marks the day on which God forgave the Jewish people for the sin of the golden calf. 40 days after the Jews received the Torah on Mount Sinai according to biblical tradition, they were chosen as God's people. During these 40 days they had violated God's commandment "You shall not have any other gods besides me" by worshiping a golden calf and thus doing idolatry. Moses asked God not to destroy his people, the Jews. God forgave them on Tishri 10th. Tradition has it that on the Day of Atonement a billy goat was loaded with the sins of the Jewish people and sent into the desert. Yom Kippur is symbolically associated with the confession of sins, purification, forgiveness and the indestructible connection to God.

The term "scapegoat" has been preserved in a modified form in the German vocabulary to this day. The term stands for a person who is without guilt, but who is blamed by others for alleged wrongdoing or unpleasant events.

Rules of penance and fasting

Orthodox Jews wear white clothes and no leather shoes on Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is celebrated as a strict fasting day, from its beginning on the evening before until the evening on the day of atonement itself. Yom Kippur is the only fasting day that is also observed on a Sabbath. Eating and drinking is prohibited, bathing, washing and cosmetics are also prohibited, as are sexual intercourse and any form of enjoyment. In addition, strictly religious Jews adhere to the rule not to wear leather shoes or boots and to wear white clothes.

Yom Kippur is still observed today by a majority of Jews around the world. However, the rules are not practiced in the same strict form by everyone. However, the meaning and seriousness of the character have been preserved.

A day of prayer

The Yom Kippur prayers are ended with a long Schofart tone

Eating and drinking abundantly is common on the day before Yom Kippur. There are two festive meals: one during the day, the other just before the start of the holiday in the evening. This includes a piece of honey cake, which, like an apple dipped in honey, is associated with the wish for a good (sweet) year.

On the Day of Atonement itself, there is strict abstinence. Most of the festival is celebrated in the synagogue. Several services often extend uninterrupted throughout the day. At the end of the prayers, a ram's horn, the shofar, blows a long tone. Yom Kippur is over. Afterwards, the families gather for a common feast, the so-called "bite into" and the believers wish they had a good year.