בס'דPhotograph "Yom Kippur at Jerusalem Western Wall" (Daily Deviation Given 2013-09-27) by our friend DaniBabitz
Yom Kippur2014 is on October 3-4= It begins today...
, Day of Atonement,one of the special Jewish holidays is considered by Children Of Israel to be the holiest and most solemn day of the year.
Eating, drinking, bathing, anointing with oil, and marital relations are prohibited. Tradition says divine judgment of the People of Israel is sealed and their fate is decided for the coming year.
A recitation of the sacrificial service of the Temple in Jerusalem traditionally features prominently in both the liturgy and the religious thought of the holiday. Yom Kippur
is observed as a one-day holiday, both inside and outside the boundaries of the land of Israel. In Israel there are no radio or television broadcasts on Yom Kippur, airports are shut down, there is no public transportation, and all shops and businesses are closed. Israel comes down to a virtual standstill at the sundown of the Yom Kippur.
It is customary to go to the Jerusalem Western Wall of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem before Yom Kippur to ask God for forgiveness for our sins. Over the last few decades, bicycle-riding on the empty streets has become a new "tradition" in Israel. As one of journalists described Yom Kippur in erusalem, "the Day of No Traffic Lights". No traffic on Yom Kippur in Jerusalem. Imagine--a capital city without any motor vehicle traffic at all: The quiet is absolutely stunning. Starting from sundown on erev Yom Kippur, 25 hours of blissful peace and quiet. Pedestrians share the road with bicycles ridden by hundreds of secular Israelis who savor the day as a safe opportunity to try out their biking skills with no irritating traffic lights. But the overwhelming sense is of people of Israel taking a complete day to evaluate and perhaps change their lives.
Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year—the day on which we are closest to G‑d and to the quintessence of our own souls. It is the Day of Atonement—“For on this day He will forgive you, to purify you, that you be cleansed from all your sins before G‑d” (Leviticus 16:30).
For nearly twenty-six hours—from several minutes before sunset on 9 Tishrei to after nightfall on 10 Tishrei—we “afflict our souls”: we abstain from food and drink, do not wash or anoint our bodies, do not wear leather footwear, and abstain from marital relations.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. In the 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 the Kol Nidrei service.
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, which includes a reading from Leviticus followed by the Yizkor memorial service; 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 (a Chabad custom is to sing the lively “Napoleon’s March”), 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.