Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is celebrated on the 10th day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei. Ten days after the start of Rosh Hashanah, we celebrate this meaningful holiday. It is the culmination of the Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe); ten days in which we have had an opportunity to review both our good deeds and our missteps over the past year. Yom Kippur, especially, is a day to separate ourselves as completely as possible from our day to day lives and focus our energy in a spiritual direction. Instead of satisfying our physical needs with food, drink, pleasure, and adornment, it is a day in which we can devote our heart, soul, and mind to our relationship with the Divine. We come together as a community to confess our sins. “While each individual may not have committed these specific sins, as a community we surely have, and our fates are intertwined on this day.” (MLS Staff – myjewishlearning.com)

Customary greetings for Yom Kippur are “G’mar Hatima Tova” (May you be sealed in the Book of Life) or a shorter version “G’mar Tov”. Additionally, one might say “Have an easy fast” before the holiday starts.

At B’nai Torah, we typically begin our celebration on Erev Yom Kippur with a Kol Nidre (Aramaic for ‘all vows’) service. On Yom Kippur day we have a morning service followed by a text study or meditation period around 11:30am. Later in the afternoon we have a family service that always includes an interactive reading of the tale of Jonah and the Whale. It’s a community favorite! Yom Kippur evening includes a Yizkor service (a prayer service in memory of those who have passed ), and then at nightfall our Neilah service allows us to make our final pleas and hear the sounding of the Shofar. We end the evening with a light “Break the fast” meal.

Visitors are welcome at no charge.