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Yom Kippur

Subject Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


[ xxii ] (‘Day of Atonement’) Twenty-five hour fast-day which is the culmination of the 10 days of repentance beginning with the New Year (R osh H a-shanah ). Before the F ast begins it is customary, in many traditional communities, to perform a ceremony of atonement ( kapparot ) which involves a person waving a chicken over his head and declaring that its death should substitute for any punishment due to him. Some people prefer to perform this ceremony with money instead of a chicken, the money being given to charity [59: 149]. Pietists undergo a symbolic flogging before the onset of the fast as an added atonement. The day begins at sundown with Kol Nidrei , a service of annulment of religious vows [70: 179], and the fast ends the next day when three stars appear, at which point the shofar (ram's horn) is blown in the S ynagogue. On Yom Kippur there is no eating or drinking, no washing, sexual relations or wearing leather shoes. People dress in white, to signify the forgiveness of sins, and the Book of Jonah, with its message of repentance, is read. In biblical times the High Priest used to enter the Holy of Holies of the Jerusalem T emple on this day to offer up incense, and a goat was sent off into the wilderness carrying away the sins of the people of Israel [69: 31]. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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