Wednesday, October 12, 2005

TODAY IN JUDAISM: Thursday, October 13, 2005


Due to holiday observance, the Yom Kippur edition of Today in Judaism is sent on Wednesday.

Tishrei 10, 5766 * October 13, 2005


* Laws * Customs * Jewish History * Daily Quote * Daily Study *

Today is: Thursday, Tishrei 10, 5766
Yom Kippur

Today's Laws & Customs

• Yom Kippur Observances

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year -- the day on which we are closest to G-d and to the quintessential core 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 twenty-six hours, from several minutes before sunset on Tishrei 9 to after nightfall on Tishrei 10, we "afflict our souls": we abstain from food and drink, do not wash or anoint our bodies, do not wear leather shoes, and abstain from marital relations.

When the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, the Yom Kippur service included the High Priest's entry into the "Holy of Holies" to offer the ketoret -- the only time that anyone entered the Temple's innermost chamber -- and the "casting of lots" over two goats, one to be offered to G-d and the other to carry off the sins of Israel to the wilderness. Today, we spend the day in the synagogue garbed in a white garment called a kittel to resemble the sin-free angels and to waken thoughts of repentance by reminding us of the day of our death. In the course of the day we hold five prayer services: Maariv, with its solemn Kol Nidrei service, on the eve of Yom Kippur; Shacharit; Musaf, which includes a detailed account of the Temple service; Minchah, which includes the reading of the Book of Jonah []; and Ne'illah, the "closing of the gates" service at sunset. We say the Al Chet confession of sins ten times, 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. When the closing Ne'illah service climaxes in the resounding cries of "Hear O Israel... G-d is one" and a single blast [] of the shofar, the joy erupts in song and dance (a Chabad custom is to sing the lively niggun known as "Napoleon's March"), followed by the festive after-fast meal, making the evening following Yom Kippur a Yom Tov (festival) in its own right.

See also: More Yom Kippur laws & customs []; an overview of the Yom Kippur services []

• Links

A Yom Kippur anthology []

About Yom Kippur [] (from

Today in Jewish History

• Rebecca Born (1677 BCE)

Birth of Rebecca [] (1677-1556 BCE), wife of Isaac, mother of Jacob and Esau, and one of the Four Matriarchs of Israel.

Links: Isaac & Rebecca [] (the biblical account); Whom to Marry []; Faking It []

• 2nd Tablets; Day of Forgiveness (1313 BCE)

On the 10th of Tishrei of the year 2449 from creation, 82 days after the people of Israel betrayed their newly entered covenant with G-d by worshipping a Golden Calf [] and after Moses twice spent 40 days atop Mount Sinai pleading on their behalf, "G-d restored His goodwill with the Jewish people gladly and wholeheartedly, saying to Moses 'I have forgiven, as you ask', and gave him the Second Tablets" -- thereby establishing the day as a time for atonement, forgiveness and teshuvah [] for all generations.

Link: The 120-Day Version of the Human Story []

Daily Study

Chitas and Rambam for today:

Chumash: Ha'Azinu, 5th Portion Devarim 32:29-32:39 with Rashi
• English Text:

Tehillim: Chapters 55 - 59
• Hebrew text:
• English text:

Tanya: Iggeret HaKodesh, end of Epistle 20
• Lesson in Tanya:
• RealAudio:
• Windows Media:

• Sefer Hamitzvos:
• 1 Chapter: Mikvot Chap. 6
• 3 Chapters: Shabbat Chap. 12, 13, 14

Hayom Yom:
• English Text:


Are you prepared for Yom Kippur?

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