The Yom Kippur fast begins this Wednesday evening. Rites and prohibitions, traditions and history … What you need to know about this day of atonement for sins (Day of Atonement), considered to be the holiest of the year.

What are the hours of Yom Kippur?

[Mise à jour du 15 septembre à 17h06]. This year, Yom Kippur is held from Wednesday September 15 in the evening to Thursday September 16. A Paris, the young of Yom Kippur begins Wednesday at 7:45 p.m. and ends Thursday at 8:49 p.m. Times depend on sunset and nightfall and therefore differ from region to region.

To wish a happy Yom Kippur feast, we can say “Hag Saméah” (happy Birthday), Focus on Kal (good fast) and also “Gmar Hatima Tova“(a good seal in the book of life). The end of the fast is announced in the synagogue by the sound of the shofar. The believers then come together to break the fast. After the feast of Yom Kippur, we prepare, the next day, the feast of Sukkot (the feast of the huts).

What is forbidden to do on Yom Kippur?

For nearly 26 hours, the Jews are led to empty themselves and observe a strict fast. In addition to refraining from eating and drinking, they should not wash, wear makeup, or coat their bodies with oils or lotions, nor can they wear leather shoes. Marital relations are also to be avoided. It is customary to wear white clothes, symbols of purity. Often meeting with family, or sometimes at the synagogue, Jews take the time to introspection. We don’t work, we don’t use electricity either, like the Shabbat rules. Boys do not begin fasting until the age of 13 and girls from the age of 12. Some more fragile people are exempt from this practice, such as the sick, certain pregnant women or young breastfeeding mothers.

Yom Kippur: what is the significance of the feast of Atonement?

Yom Kippur commemorates God’s forgiveness to the Jewish people after the Golden Calf’s sin. In this biblical episode, Moses disappears for forty days in order to receive the Tables of the Law. During this interlude, the Jewish people fashioned another idol, a calf, made with the gold jewelry of women. This figure of worship would be inspired by Apis, a bull worshiped in Egypt. The biblical account (Exodus 32) mentions an orgy which, accompanying this sequence of idolatry, would have triggered the wrath of God. In order to obtain forgiveness from the people of Israel, Moses ascended Mount Sinai and implored God’s mercy. It’s the 10th day of the month of Tishrei – the day of Yom Kippur – that he obtained forgiveness. A time of repentance to take stock of the past year, Yom Kippur gives Jews the opportunity to pray for universal harmony and to commit to making new resolutions for the coming year.

What do you do before the start of the Yom Kippur fast?

On the eve of Yom Kippur, some Jews perform “Kapparot” : it is an atonement ritual which consists in sacrificing a chicken, which is then eaten before the start of the fast, and at the end of Yom Kippur. We also usually donate a few coins to the most needy and light candles before the party begins. According to custom, a hearty meal is served, usually couscous with chicken. Finally, to be forgiven yourself, every Jew must ask forgiveness from all those around him, especially those who might have been offended.

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