Ohad Essays Yom Kipur
Yom Kippur,also known in English as the Day of Atonement,is the most solemn and important of the Jewish holidays. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews have traditionally observed this holiday with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayers. Erev Yom Kippur is the day before the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. It falls on the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei The day is commemorated with a festive meal, giving of charity, and visiting others to seek or give forgiveness. Before sunset on the eve of Yom Kippur("Day of Atonement"),the congregation gathers in the synagogue. The Ark is opened and two people take from it two Torah scrolls. Then they take their places, one on each side of the cantor, and the three recite: In the tribunal of Heaven and the tribunal of earth,by the permission of God—praised be He—and by the permission of this holy congregation,we hold it lawful to pray with transgressors. The cantor then chants the Kol Nidre prayer in Aramaic,not Hebrew. Its name is taken from the opening words, meaning "All vows": All personal vows we are likely to make, all personal oaths and pledges we are likely to take between this Yom Kippur and the next Yom Kippur, we publicly renounce. Let them all be relinquished and abandoned, null and void, neither firm nor established. Let our personal vows,pledges and oaths be considered neither vows nor pledges nor oaths. The leader and the congregation then say together three times "May all the people of Israel be forgiven, including all the strangers who live in their midst, for all the people are in fault." The Torah scrolls are then replaced,and the customary evening service begins.