The meaning of Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, the day of atonement

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur, or the "Day of Atonement," began Sunday night.

According to Jewish tradition, the day is a chance to wipe the slate clean of any wrong-doings from the past year.

It is the holiest day of the year for Jews.

Jews traditionally observe this holy day with fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services.

Yom Kippur completes the annual period known in Judaism as the High Holy Days, which began with the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah, on Sept. 15.

On Yom Kippur, Jews avoid these five actions:

Eating or drinking  Wearing leather shoesApplying lotions or creamsWashing or bathingEngaging in marital relations

Beyond specific actions, Yom Kippur is dedicated to introspection, prayer, and asking God for forgiveness.

After sundown on Monday, Jews will partake in a festive after-fast meal.

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