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The Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur will begin at sundown on Sunday, September 27 and end 25 hours later on Monday, September 28. The holy day is also known as the Day of Atonement and has great significance for Jews around the world.
The holiday is usually observed with a day-long fast and intensive prayer.
Normally, Jews would spend most of the day in synagogue services, however, due to the coronavirus pandemic this may not be possible in some areas.
According to tradition, on Yom Kippur, God decides each person’s fate.
This is therefore often the day Jews make amends and ask forgiveness for sins committed during the past year.
What to say to someone observing Yom Kippur
Unlike Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year which comes just a few days before Yom Kippur – the holy day is solemn and reflective.
Due to this, it’s not normal to wish someone a “happy Yom Kippur”.
Instead, the best way to greet someone observing the holiday can say “Good Yuntif” and “Yom Tov”.
The first greetings is Yiddish while the second is Hebrew and translate to “Have a good holy day”.
If you wish to greet someone more traditionally, “Gmar hatimah tovah” or “Gmar tov” roughly translates to “a good seal” and is specific to Yom Kippur.
Before Yom Kippur, it is also common to wish each other an easy fast.
Since Yom Kippur comes so close after Rosh Hashanah, you can also say “Shana Tova” or “Happy New Year.”
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The word “u’metuka” – meaning and sweet – is sometimes appended to the end.
In Yiddish, the standard wish is “Ah gut gebentsht yohr,” meaning “A good and blessed year”.
Rosh Hashanah began on September 18 and finished in the evening of Sunday, September 20.
However, no matter what you wish to say, the main thing is to wish each other a good year.
Yom Kippur is the 10th day of the seventh month of Tishrei is the Jewish calendar.
The holy day is regarded as the “Sabbath of Sabbaths”.
Rosh Hashanah is the first day of Tishrei and on this day forgiveness of sins is also asked of God.
Yom Kippur completes the annual period known in Judaism as the High Holy Days or Yamim Nora’im (“Days of Awe”) that commences with Rosh Hashanah.
According to Jewish tradition, God inscribes each person’s fate for the coming year into the Book of Life on Rosh Hashanah and waits until Yom Kippur to “seal” the verdict.
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