Yom Kippur begins at sunset on Friday, October 7, 2011. It is observed on Saturday, October 8.
What is Yom Kippur?
Yom Kippur is the Jewish Day of Atonement. The day is devoted to communal repentance for sins committed over the course of the previous year. Because of the nature of Yom Kippur and its associated rituals, it is the most solemn day in the Jewish calendar.
What are some customs and practices for Yom Kippur?
On Yom Kippur, Jews are commanded to fast as a symbol of atonement. Yom Kippur begins and ends with two special prayers, Kol Nidrei at the start and Neilah to conclude the holiday. Before Yom Kippur, many Jews perform kaparot to symbolically rid themselves of all their sins.
Does everyone have to fast?
While it is a commandment to fast on Yom Kippur, there are exceptions. Children are not required to fast, but as they approach the ages of Bar/Bat Mitzvah (12-13 years old), many are encouraged to fast for part of the day. If a doctor says it is dangerous to fast, one should eat.
• Learn great recipes for breaking the fast.
Pronounced: yohm KIPP-er, also yohm kee-PORE, Origin: Hebrew, The Day of Atonement, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar and, with Rosh Hashanah, one of the High Holidays.