When and what is Yom Kippur?

Editor’s note: This article has been edited to correct the dates.

Jewish communities around the world are preparing to observe Yom Kippur, the most sacred day in the Jewish calendar, starting at sundown on Sept. 24 and concluding at sundown on Sept. 25.

Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, falls on the 10th day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei each year – usually in September or October.

The holy day is marked with solemn reflection, fasting and prayer. During this 24-hour period, observant Jews will refrain from eating, drinking, sex, and other physical comforts as they seek forgiveness for their sins.

“Like Shabbat, no work is to be done on Yom Kippur,” according to Chabad.org.

Synagogue services play a central role in the observance of Yom Kippur, with congregants coming together for special prayers and rituals.

The services on Yom Kippur last from morning to evening and include readings from the Torah and the reciting of prayers.

Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur

While Yom Kippur is observed as a day of atonement and personal reflection, it is also a time when Jewish communities come together in unity and solidarity.

As the sun sets on Sept. 28, the conclusion of the holiday is marked with a final sounding of the shofar, a ram’s horn, symbolizing the hope for a year filled with blessings and forgiveness.

The final Yom Kippur service is typically followed by a “break the fast” meal where observant Jews who have not eaten for the entire day will enjoy traditional food items including bagels, Challah, kugel, lox, and fresh fruit.

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