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by Judy Bratten

hcy-Yom KippurYom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the day when God’s judgment is believed to be sealed for the coming year. The ten days between Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur are called the Days of Penitence. It is a time to repent of and to correct those things we have done wrong, especially to our neighbor, and to ask God’s forgiveness.

For everyone thirteen years and older, Yom Kippur is a day of fasting. Fasting encourages humility and repentance, disciplines the body and clarifies the mind as we examine our conduct and thoughts.

In the synagogue, the ancient Kol Nidre (Absolution of All Vows) is chanted and confession of sins as commanded in Leviticus 26:40 is made. At home, memorial candles are lit for members of the family who have died. The Mourner’s Kaddish and final blowing of the Shofar conclude the day.

I have continued to keep Yom Kippur as a day of fasting and repentance, not for myself but for the Jewish people, especially those who have turned away from God. I also light candles and have Masses offered for departed relatives. It is the only holiday that makes itself known by the absence of food and festivities. We offer our prayers as we conclude the fast at the evening meal.


Mother lights the candles and says:

Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us by the blood of Thy Son and has chosen us to kindle the lights for the Day of Atonement.

Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has kept us in life, and has preserved us, and enabled us to reach this season.

Father: Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is One.

All: Blessed be His glorious, sovereign Name for ever and ever.

Father: With everlasting love, Thou hast loved the children of Israel; law and commandments, statutes and judgment Thou hast taught them. Thou hast sent Thy Son, Yeshua, to live, teach and die among them. On the third day Thou raised Him up and glorified Him before them. Now, O Lord, we beg Thee to look upon Thy people, to extend Thy mercy to them and to open their eyes to Thy truth.

Child: Thou art mighty forever, O Lord; it is Thou who quickenest the dead and are mighty to save.

Child: Who is like unto Thee, O Lord of mighty acts, and who can be compared to Thee, O King, who kills and restores to life and causes salvation to spring forth.

Child: Thou art holy and Thy Name is holy and holy beings praise Thee daily.

All: The Lord of Hosts is exalted in judgment and the Holy God is sanctified in righteousness. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the Holy King.

Father: Thou has chosen and loved Thy people, O Lord, and given this Day of Atonement for pardon, forgiveness and repentance. For the sake of Thy Son, Yeshua, and for the glory of Thy Name, remember Thy people and bring them into Thy Kingdom.

All: Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who makest peace.

Father: We all acknowledge our sinfulness Lord:

Child: For sins we have committed of our own free will; for sins we have committed unwittingly.

Child: For sins we have committed by our lips; for sins we have committed in our hearts.

Child: For sins we have committed to our neighbors; for sins we have committed in despising parents and teachers.

Child: For sins we have committed in presumption and error; for sins we have committed by unchastity.

Child: For sins we have committed by contentiousness; for sins we have committed by envy and talebearing.

Father: For all these, O God of forgiveness, forgive us, pardon us, grant us atonement. We ask this in the name of Yeshua, Thy Son, who lives and reigns with Thee and Ruach haKodesh, one God, for ever and ever.

All: Amen.

Mourner’s Kaddish: to be recited after lighting memorial candle

Magnified and sanctified be His great Name in the world which he hath created according to His will.
May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and in your days,
and in the lifetime of all the house of Israel, speedily and at a near time.

Let his great Name be blessed for ever and ever.

Blessed praised and glorified, exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded, be the Name of the Holy One, blessed be He, beyond all blessings and hymns, praises and songs which are uttered in the world.

May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life for us and for all Israel.

May He who maketh peace in His high places, maketh peace for us, and for all Israel; and say ye, Amen.