Posted by: Elena's Israel Blog | 09/22/2012

A Very Special Birthday!

Recently I was reading a chronology of World War II and the Holocaust, which listed every event of any importance that happened on each date during that time. Amazingly I found that my own birthday, Oct. 8, was on the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest holy day in Judaism, that year. And, I was born at 6:00 p.m. which was around the actual start of the holy day, sundown. I feel very blessed by this, and wonder if there is any significance in the fact that I have such a passion for the Jewish roots of my Christian faith. I hope I am fulfilling a call to spread the word! Read below a re-posting on Yom Kippur.

Yom Kippur – the Jewish Day Of Atonement – Sep. 25-26, 2012

…In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and you shall not do any work … For on that day he shall provide atonement for you to cleanse you from all your sins before the L-RD. -Leviticus 16:29-30

Yom Kippur is probably the most important holiday of the Jewish year. Many Jews who do not observe any other Jewish custom will refrain from work, fast and/or attend synagogue services on this day. Yom Kippur occurs on the 10th day of Tishri. The holiday is instituted at Leviticus 23:26  The name “Yom Kippur” means “Day of Atonement,” and that pretty much explains what the holiday is. It is a day set aside to “afflict the soul,” to atone for the sins of the past year. In Days of Awe,  G-d inscribes all of our names. On Yom Kippur, the judgment entered in these books is sealed. This day is, essentially, your last appeal, your last chance to change the judgment, to demonstrate your repentance and make amends.

Yom Kippur atones only for sins between man and G-d, not for sins against another person. To atone for sins against another person, you must first seek reconciliation with that person, righting the wrongs you committed against them if possible. That must all be done before Yom Kippur.

Yom Kippur is a complete Sabbath; no work can be performed on that day. It is well-known that you are supposed to refrain from eating and drinking (even water) on Yom Kippur. It is a complete, 25-hour fast beginning before sunset on the evening before Yom Kippur and ending after nightfall on the day of Yom Kippur. The Talmud also specifies additional restrictions that are less well-known: washing and bathing, anointing one’s body (with cosmetics, deodorants, etc.), wearing leather shoes (Orthodox Jews routinely wear canvas sneakers under their dress clothes on Yom Kippur), and engaging in sexual relations are all prohibited on Yom Kippur.

As always, any of these restrictions can be lifted where a threat to life or health is involved. In fact, children under the age of nine and women in childbirth (from the time labor begins until three days after birth) are not permitted to fast, even if they want to. Older children and women from the third to the seventh day after childbirth are permitted to fast, but are permitted to break the fast if they feel the need to do so. People with other illnesses should consult a physician and a rabbi for advice.

Most of the holiday is spent in the synagogue, in prayer. In Orthodox synagogues, services begin early in the morning (8 or 9 AM) and continue until about 3 PM. People then usually go home for an afternoon nap and return around 5 or 6 PM for the afternoon and evening services, which continue until nightfall. The services end at nightfall, with the blowing of the tekiah gedolah, a long blast on the shofar. It is customary to wear white on the holiday, which symbolizes purity and calls to mind the promise that our sins shall be made as white as snow (Is. 1:18). Some people wear a kittel, the white robe in which the dead are buried.

Info taken from Judaism 101
Click on Shouting Out to G-d  to watch a brief video of Yom Kippur prayers at the Western Wall.
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Yom Kippur traditions

Before Yom Kippur we perform the Kaparot atonement service; we request and receive honey cake, in acknowledgement that we are all recipients in G-d’s world and in prayerful hope for a sweet and abundant year; eat a festive meal; immerse in a mikvah; and give extra charity. Late afternoon we eat the pre-fast meal, following which we bless our children, light a memorial candle as well as the holiday candles, and go to the synagogue for Kol Nidrei services.

In the course of Yom Kippur we hold five prayer services: Maariv, with its solemn Kol Nidrei service, on the eve of Yom Kippur; Shacharit–the morning prayer; Musaf, which includes a detailed account of the Yom Kippur Temple service; Minchah, which includes the reading of the Book of Jonah; and Neilah, the “closing of the gates” service at sunset. We say the Al Chet confession of sins eight times in the course of Yom Kippur, and recite Psalms every available moment.

The day is the most solemn of the year, yet an undertone of joy suffuses it: a joy that revels in the spirituality of the day and expresses the confidence that G-d will accept our repentance, forgive our sins, and seal our verdict for a year of life, health and happiness. The closing Neilah service climaxes in the resounding cries of “Hear O Israel… G-d is one.” Then joy erupts in song and dance, followed by a single blast of the shofar, followed by the proclamation, “Next year in Jerusalem.” We then partake of a festive after-fast meal, making the evening after Yom Kippur a Yom Tov (festival) in its own right.

Barbara Streisand

Click here to watch and listen to Barbara Streisand singing one of the key songs, sung each day by Jews in synagogue, during the High Holy days: http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/barbra-streisand-avinu-malkeinu?utm_source=MadMimi&utm_medium=email&utm_content=12Tribe+Films%3A+Israel+Music+Videos%2C+Barabara+Streisand+Singing+Yom+Kippur+Song%2C+Israel+is+a+Miracle+and+More&utm_campaign=12Tribe+Films%3A+Israel+Music+Video%2C+Barabara+Streisand+Singing+Yom+Kippur+Song%2C+Israel+is+a+Miracle+and+More&utm_term=Barbara+Streisand+-Avinu+Malkeinu_JPG
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                                           The Christian Perspective

Yom Kippur, or the “Day of Atonement,” is the holiest day of the Jewish year, and provides prophetic insight regarding the Second Coming of Mashiach, the restoration of national Israel, and the final judgment of the world. It is also a day that reveals the High-Priestly work of Yeshua as our Kohen Gadol (High Priest) after the order of Malki-Tzedek (Heb. 5:10, 6:20).

The term Yom Kippur is actually written in the plural in the Torah, Yom Ha-Kippurim (יוֹם הַכִּפֻּרִים), perhaps because the purification process cleansed from a multitude of transgressions, iniquities, and sins. However, the name also alludes to the two great atonements given by the LORD – the first for those among the nations who turn to Yeshua for cleansing and forgiveness, and the second for the purification of ethnic Israel during Yom Adonai, the great Day of the LORD at the end of days.

May it be a year filled with blessing, peace and prosperity for Israel and the entire world.

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