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Yom Kippur

National and Public Holidays in Israel National Holiday in Israel

Jewish prayer book

When is Day of Atonement ?

Year Day Date
2018 Wednesday September 19th
2017 Saturday September 30th
2016 Wednesday October 12th
2015 Wednesday September 23rd
2014 Saturday October 4th
2013 Saturday September 14th

Yom Kippur (day of atonement) is the Jewish day of repentance, considered to be the holiest and most solemn day of the year.

Its central theme is atonement and reconciliation. Eating, drinking, bathing, using cosmetics, wearing leather shoes, and conjugal relations are all prohibited. A custom is to wear white on the holiday as a symbol of purity.

In Israel, it is a legal holiday. There will be no public transport and all shops and businesses are closed.

Fasting begins just before sundown (called 'tosephet' Yom Kippur, the 'addition' of fasting for a portion of the previous day is required by Jewish law), and ends after sunset the following day.

Prayer services begin with the prayer known as "Kol Nidre", which must be recited before sunset. Kol Nidre, Aramaic for "all vows," is a public annullment of all vows that will be made during the coming year.

Yom Kippur completes the penitential period of ten days known as 'Days of Awe' that begins with New Year's Day, the season of repentance and prayer; for though prayerful humiliation be acceptable at all times, it is thought to be peculiarly potent at that time.

The morning prayer service is preceded by litanies and petitions of forgiveness called selihot; On the Day of Atonement, many selihot are woven into the liturgy.

*Like other Jewish holidays, Yom Kippur will begin at sundown on the previous day.

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