Have friends celebrating Yom Kippur this year? We’re catching you up on all you should know about the Jewish holiday.
When the sun sets on Sept. 18, the Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur begins. As one of the most principal holidays in Judaism, there are many long-standing traditions tied to the religious day. If you’re in the dark on what the holiday entails – don’t worry. We’re sharing everything you need to know about Yom Kippur, including timing, length, and history of the celebration.
What is Yom Kippur?
Yom Kippur is a Jewish holiday meaning “Day of Atonement” in English. It is supposed to be a time for observing Jews to repent for their sins and heal their souls for the new year. Despite, the notion in American culture that Hanukkah is actually one of the most important holidays, Yom Kippur actually tops the list!
When Is Yom Kippur?
Yom Kippur is a one-day holiday, beginning at sundown on Tuesday, Sept. 18, and ending at sundown on Wednesday, Sept. 19.
How Long Is Yom Kippur?
The fasting period of the holiday lasts for 25 hours. The 25-hour observance takes place to allows for a cushion of time, since the exact timestamp of “nightfall” is questionable. Those familiar with the Jewish faith may know that Shabbat, or the sabbath, lasts for 25 hours, too.
How to celebrate Yom Kippur:
The holiday is directly tied to its’ 25-hour fasting period, which also prohibits drinking water. But – once the sun goes down, Yom Kippur ends in the ultimate celebration. After a long day of fasting, the observance ends with a meal to break the fast! A series of traditional foods are served, largely comprised of light fare and breakfast foods, so as not to shock the system after the day of not eating.
What is the history of Yom Kippur?
Starting with Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur is the culmination of the Ten Days of Repentance, a time for people who are Jewish to reflect on their sins and transgressions over the past year. Isaiah 58, the haftarah portion that is referenced on Yom Kippur, reads: “No, this is the fast I desire: To unlock fetters of wickedness and untie the cords of the yoke to let the oppressed go free; to break off every yoke.”