Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people. This year it begins on Tuesday night, September 25th, and ends at nightfall on the 26th.
Many Jews will spend most of Yom Kippur at the synagogue in prayer, which begins with the traditional Kol Nidre and ends in a final sounding of the shofar. The observance includes fasting from before sundown until nightfall, for 25 hours. Even drinking water is not allowed. Other practices include not bathing, not wearing leather, not using perfumes or lotions, and no marital relations. It is customary to wear white, which symbolizes purity.
It is important to note that, while Jews pray for forgiveness on Yom Kippur, they can only pray for forgiveness for sins against G-d. Atonement for sins against other people must be sought from those people.
Yom Kippur is preceded by a festive meal the afternoon before the fast begins and followed by another meal, the break fast.
In Israel, there are no radio or TV broadcasts, airports and public transportation shut down, and businesses are closed.
For anyone observing Yom Kippur, UJGS wishes you an easy fast.