Yom Kippur, Jewish Day of Atonement, begins Friday night


The most austere holiday of the Jewish year begins Friday and will culminate Saturday evening with a blast from a ram’s horn.

Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, marks the end of a 10-day period of reflection and repentance beginning after Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year’s, based on the lunar calendar.

The holiday is traditionally observed with a daylong fast, beginning just before sunset Friday and lasting until sundown the next day.

Yom Kippur is often biblically correlated to the day of Moses’ final descent from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments.

Rabbi Joseph Schonberger of Temple El-Emeth in Liberty said the 25-hour fast emphasizes the intended purpose of the holiday.

“The fast allows us to focus on making Yom Kippur a spiritual day,” he said. “It’s a full fast. No food or drink is allowed, unless someone physically can’t do the fast healthily. It helps us build discipline in our lives.”

Observance of Yom Kippur begins and ends with services at Jewish temples — with a period for sleep in between the services — and includes spiritual lessons, prayer, a prepared meal to break the fast and the blowing of the shofar, a ram’s horn used in Jewish ceremonies.

Read more about the observance in Friday's Vindicator or on VJindy.com.

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