Yom Kippur History
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement, Hebrew: יום כיפור) is the last day to atone our sins of the Ten Days of Repentance, which start on the New Year (Rosh Hashanah). This is a fast mentioned in the Bible and the punishment mentioned for not keeping this fast is excommunication.
Jews seek to 'purify their souls' on this day, by abstaining from common pleasures. Yom Kippur is celebrated by most all Jewish denominations. It is a fast day from the eve until the next day nightfall (twenty five hours). No food or drink is permissible. It is a day on which Jews 'afflict the soul', which includes wearing only non-leather shoes, not combing one's hair and no marital relations.
For many Orthodox Jews, most of Yom Kippur is spent in prayer in the Synagogue. Five prayer services are held (as opposed to the normal three daily prayers).
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