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YOM KIPPUR

The Day of Atonement 

Begins 9/27/2020 at sundown

Ends 9/28/2020 at sundown

"And this shall be for you a law forever: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you afflict your beings, and do no work, the native or the stranger who sojourns among you.

For on that day he makes atonement for you, to cleanse you, to be clean from all your sins before יהוה.

It is a Sabbath of rest for you, and you shall afflict your beings – a law forever."

(Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16:29-31)

Yom Kippur is the culmination of our season of Teshuva. Through ten days of repentance, we move from the time of YAH's judgment at Yom Teruah to the time of His compassion on the Day of Atonement. 

All people come before the Almighty YAHUAH to confess our sins and pray for forgiveness.

For on this day, the 10th day of the 7th Hebrew month, YAHUAH makes atonement for us - to cleanse us so that we're clean from all our sins.

How to Observe Yom Kippur

Before Yom Kippur begins:

  • Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! Most of the discomfort during the fast comes from dehydration. Get properly hydrated for an easier fast.

  • Make sure you have a Scriptures and a Siddur (or Machzor).  The Siddur/Machzor are Jewish prayerbooks that include prayers to set apart the day and some of the most important confessional prayers for Yom Kippur. You can buy one online, or print an abridged version here.

  • Cleanse. Immerse in a mikvah. Wash your clothes and your set-apart garments. It is customary to wear white on Yom Kippur to remind ourselves of forgiveness and atonement and our striving to live pure and sin-free.

  • Prepare a nice pre-fast meal and enjoy with your family before sundown. It is a Sabbath, so make it a special Shabbat meal. Light the festival/Shabbat lights and bless your children.

Observing the Set-Apart Day​:

  • Fast. The Scriptures tell us to afflict our beings on Yom Kippur. We do this by denying ourselves our most basic need and desire - food. We deny our physical self to focus on our spiritual self, and we humble ourselves with repentance. It is a 24-hour fast beginning 9/27/2020 at sundown and concluding 9/28/2020 at sundown. **The sick, the elderly, children, and pregnant women may be exempt from the fast.

  • Rest. Yom Kippur is a Sabbath. Therefore, we don't work. We don't go to our place of employment nor engage in any work-related activities, and we abstain from any laborious tasks. We take the time to rest.

  • Read the Scriptures & Prayer Book. If you have a Siddur or a Yom Kippur Machzor, read the prayers for the day. The Ashamnu and Al Chet are important prayers of confession for all our sins. If you do not have a Siddur/Machzor, you can find an abridged version here.

    • In the Scriptures:

      • Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16:1-34 & 18:1-30

      • Bemidbar/Numbers 29:7-11

      • YeshaYahu/Isaiah 57:14 - 58:14

      • Mikah 7:18-20

      • Yonah/Jonah ch. 1-4

    • In the Siddur or Machzor:

      • Shemoneh Esrei/Amidah

      • Ashamnu (We have become guilty...)​*

      • Al Chet (For the sin of...)*

      • Avinu Malkeinu (Our Father, Our Sovereign)

  • Do Teshuva (repent). Sit quietly, and reflect on the past year. Admit all your sins to YAHUAH Elohim. Apologize for your ways, and resolve to never do them again. Ask YAHUAH for forgiveness. Decide how you will better serve Him in the future.

  • Conclude the set-apart day. At sundown (9/28/2020), bring the day to a close with prayer and thanksgiving to YAHUAH for His forgiveness and the granting of atonement. Break the fast with a celebratory light meal enjoyed with friends and family. (Be careful: eating too much all at once may cause an upset stomach.)  Start planning for Sukkot - it's only 5 days away!!

On the Day of Atonement, we have a heightened level of teshuvah.

 

Teshuva is a Hebrew word that is often translated as repentance. Repentance means turning away from our sinful ways and making a change in conduct. When we repent, we confess all of our sins and commit to not doing them again.

 

But, why is it so hard to make this change last? We always start out good but then so easily (and sometimes, so quickly) fall back into our old ways. Why does this happen?

It's because we repent, but we don't return.

A better translation of the word Teshuva is 'return.'

 

Our focus at Yom Kippur is RETURN.

Everyone - each and every person - must return to YAHUAH. Even those who think they haven't really strayed or sinned in the past year, they too must return.

 

Returning to YAHUAH is a continual journey - a journey that never ends because we can always grow closer and closer to YAH.

 

Everyone can renew and strengthen their bond with the Almighty Elohim.

 

That is the focus at this season: moving closer to YAHUAH and deepening our relationship with Him. 
 

Take time on Yom Kippur to think about your relationship with YAHUAH your Elohim: 

  • Over the past year, did your relationship with YAHUAH improve or worsen? Did you move closer to Him or further away?

  • What are some things that hindered or damaged your relationship with YAH?

  • What can you do to get rid of these 'spiritual blockages?'

  • What can you do in the coming year to strengthen and improve your relationship with YAH?

  • What actual steps will you take to draw closer to YAH?

When our repentance is accompanied by a 'return,' then real change happens. Teshuvah works on our soul, and when our soul strengthens in YAH, then our bodies will act accordingly. We will see lasting change in our conduct.

Return to YAHUAH.

Attach yourself to Him, and cling to Him - tighter than ever before. 

Teshuvah - Returning to YAHUAH

© 2020 by Family of Messiah