Yom Kippur Information

From Congregation Shaarei Kodesh

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Yom Kippur Times 5776/2015 (all times are approximate)

Tuesday evening services

Kol Nidre and Maariv (evening service)- 6:30 pm

Wednesday services

9:00 am – 9:15 am - Psukei D'Zimrah

9:15 am – 10:30 am– Shacharit

10:30 am – 11:30 am - Torah Service and Haftarah

11:30 am – 11:40 am – Prayers for Country, Israel, Peace

11:40 am – 12:10 pm –Sermon

12:10 pm – 12:30 pm - Yizkor

12:30 pm – 12:50 pm– Torah Recessional

12:50 pm – 2:30 pm- Yom Kippur Musaf

Mincha – 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Neilah/Maariv – 6:30 pm – 7:50 pm

Tekiah Gedolah - 7:51 pm

Yom Kippur ends at 7:51 pm

Yom Kippur Laws

Yom Kippur is called Shabbat Shabbaton - the ultimate Shabbat, the holiest day of the year. It is one of two 25 hour fasts on the Jewish calendar. On Yom Kippur we abstain from:

1. Eating and Drinking

2. Anointing ourselves with oils and perfumes

3. Bathing

4. Engaging in sexual activities

5. Wearing leather shoes

Why do we do restrict ourselves? So we CAN transcend ourselves and become holy!

Here are some articles to prepare us for these practices:

Why fasting matters on Yom Kippur by Jared Sichel

Why Fast? By My Jewish Learning Staff

Erev Yom Kippur

(Excerpts from The Observant Life)

The preparations for this awe-inspiring day are intrinsic to its observance. Just as one is required to fast on Yom Kippur, so one is required to eat on the day before Yom Kippur (Klein, p. 207; BT Yoma 81b; SA Oraḥ Hayyim 604:1). There is a mood of optimism and confidence in the air—for all that Yom Kippur is a day of judgment to be taken seriously, perhaps even feared, the hours before and after the fast are given over to a sense of confidence in God’s ultimate mercy and compassion. We are confident that our God is above all a God of forgiveness and we feel certain that, if we do our t’shuvah seriously and honestly, our loving and generous God will look favorably on our work. One of the ways we demonstrate the seriousness of our repentance is through charitable gifts. There was an old practice, now mostly abandoned except in certain extremely conservative communities, of swinging a chicken around one’s head on the eve of Yom Kippur as a symbolic way of divesting oneself of one’s sins by transferring them to the bird. The chicken was then slaughtered or sold, and the meat or the sale price was donated to the poor. While no harder to accept as symbolically meaningful than Tashlikh, this custom has fared less well and there have been rabbis from the very early times who opposed it as essentially counterproductive to the work of Yom Kippur. As noted, it finds few proponents in contemporary times, yet the idea of preparing for our day of prayer and soul-searching by performing positive deeds of kindness and by helping the poor through tangible gifts and donations is surely itself commendable. Some synagogues have collection centers where people bring food for the poor as they arrive for Kol Nidrei; others have charity boxes that are filled during the year and brought to the synagogue before Kol Nidrei. Many congregations hold a Kol Nidrei appeal to raise money for communal needs.


The objections that these enterprises might interfere with the more spiritual nature of the day and intrude on the introspection and soul-searching of the hour miss the point that, in the Jewish conception, spiritual growth can never be achieved in the absence of good deeds and that, indeed, the most efficient, effective way to create better people is to involve them in the creation of a better world. A version of this ritual can be found in Maḥzor Lev Shalem. The meal eaten on Erev Yom Kippur is unique. It is not a regular festival meal such as one might eat on Rosh Hashanah or other holidays. There is no special Kiddush prayer recited, for example. Indeed, the meal is called the se’udah mafseket (“the meal of demarcation”) precisely because it separates the normal day from the upcoming fast day. The Minḥah Service preceding the meal is expanded to include special prayers of repentance and sets the mood for the meal itself. It is also customary for parents to bless their children at this meal as on every Friday night, but also to add wishes for a good and healthy year and any other appropriate wishes for the year to come. The meal must obviously conclude before candle-lighting time. Following the meal, candles are lit just as they are on Friday night. The blessing, found in any edition of the High Holiday prayerbook is barukh attah adonai, eloheinu, melekh ha-olam, asher kidd’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivvanu l’hadlik neir shel yom ha-kippurim (“Praised are You, Adonai, our God, Sovereign of the universe, who, sanctifying us with divine commandments, has commanded us to light the Yom Kippur lamp”).

In addition, a special Yizkor candle is lit just prior to the formal Yom Kippur candles by those who will be reciting the Yizkor Service on Yom Kippur. There is no blessing recited on the kindling of this candle, although many prayerbooks include appropriate devotional material to recite just before lighting the memorial candle.

(2012-05-20). The Observant Life: The Wisdom of Conservative Judaism for Contemporary Jews

What to bring to Kol Nidre?

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