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Yom Kippur 2023: Date, History, and Activities

Observed with fasting and prayer in accordance with the themes of atonement and repentance, the holiday typically lasts approximately 25 hours.

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Yom Kippur 2023: Date, History, and Activities

Yom Kippur 2023: Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is regarded as the holiest day in Judaism. Observed with fasting and prayer in accordance with the themes of atonement and repentance, the holiday typically lasts approximately 25 hours. On Yom Kippur, participants are required to abstain from food and drink (as well as bathing and marital relations). In response, individuals are encouraged to spend the day seeking God’s forgiveness and donating to charity.


Yom Kippur concludes the 10-day period known as the High Holy Days or Days of Awe, which begins with the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, in the month of Tishrei (typically between September and October). Yom Kippur will conclude on the evening of September 25 this year.

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Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year according to the Jewish religion. Yom Kippur, whose name literally translates to “day of atonement,” encompasses all the emotions necessary for spiritual purification, from guilt to grief to resolution. The holiday takes place on the tenth day of Tishrei, the seventh month according to the Hebrew and Jewish calendars.

According to tradition, Yom Kippur dates back to the time of Moses the Prophet. Moses returned to the Israelites after receiving the Ten Commandments at the summit of Mount Sinai from God. In his absence, they had begun to worship a golden calf as an idol. In a fit of rage, Moses smashed the stone commandments and then returned to the mountain to seek God’s forgiveness and repent on behalf of himself and his people. Then, he returned with a second set of the Ten Commandments and God’s pardon.

Yom Kippur marks the conclusion of these 10 Days of Repentance, which begin on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. During this period, it is believed that one can influence God’s decree for the upcoming year. On the occasion of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish legal code of conduct for life, the Mishnah, depicts God inscribing the names of people in one of three books: one book for recording the names of good people, a second book for recording the names of wrongdoers, and a third book for those who are neither good nor bad.

Jews believe that by performing extensive acts of prayer, charity, and repentance during the Days of Awe, their names can be changed in the Book of Life prior to Yom Kippur. The holiday begins at sunset and ends the following evening at sunset. Sins are atoned for through fasting, abstinence from sexual relations, application of lotions, wearing of leather shoes, and bathing. Although not all Jews observe every aspect of Yom Kippur, it is also customary to attend synagogue.

YOM KIPPUR Frequently Asked Questions

What is Yom Kippur’s primary purpose?

Individually and collectively, Yom Kippur purifies through the practice of repentance for one’s own sins and seeking God’s forgiveness for the sins of others.

What is Yom Kippur a celebration of?

The Day of Atonement in the Jewish religion is Yom Kippur.

What are the Yom Kippur regulations?

Beginning at sunset, Yom Kippur is observed for a duration of 25 hours. The five prohibitions are eating and drinking, applying moisturizer or oil to the body, bathing, having sexual relations, and wearing leather shoes.


Visit a synagogue.

Attending synagogue provides the ideal environment for fervent prayer during this time of year, which is devoted to reflecting on one’s sins from the previous year and repenting for them.

Give to charity.

Giving one’s time or resources not only brings happiness to those in need but also makes us feel good and makes us more compassionate.

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The book of Leviticus mandates that Yom Kippur is a day of rest. Who doesn’t appreciate a day off?


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