More ‘spiritual’ information on Yom Kippur

More information on Yom Kippur -spiritual aspect (as expressed by those who practise) as follows:

Quote: ” Introduction -Yom Kippur is the spiritual pinnacle of the Days of Awe. On this day, God moves from the throne of Justice (where God was metaphorically “seated” for Rosh Hashanah, the Day of Judgment) to the throne of Compassion. As we approach God on Yom Kippur, it is with the conviction that our sincere prayers will be heard and our sincere repentance accepted. For this reason, there is a Hasidic tradition that Yom Kippur, or Yom Hakippurim, should be K’Purim, as joyous as Purim.”

Inui Nefesh (Afflicting the Body) and Spiritual Rebirth

quote:”The most well-known characteristic of Yom Kippur is that it is a day of fasting. This fasting is actually part of a larger framework created by the rabbis called inui nefesh, the afflictions of the body. There are five things that we are prohibited from doing on Yom Kippur: washing, eating, drinking, having sex, and wearing leather. On Yom Kippur we refrain from activities, like eating, taking care of our bodies and making love, that affirm life. In addition, it is customary in some communities on Yom Kippur to wear a kittel, a shroud – the garment worn by Jews when they are buried. Finally, at the end of the Yom Kippur service, we recite the sh’ma, the words that are supposed to be the last ones on our lips before we die. On Yom Kippur, the peak of the period of self-transformation and teshuva (turning), we symbolize the death of our old selves and a spiritual rebirth as a new, pure soul. ” unquote

Quote: ” Torah Readings -The Torah reading for Yom Kippur morning is Leviticus 16, the account of how the sacrificial service was conducted on Yom Kippur by Aaron, the High Priest. The haftarah is Isaiah 57:14 – 58:14, a passage chosen because it discusses the true purpose of fasting. God seeks only the fast that will inspire us to begin to act with more justice and mercy, that will lead us to take greater care of those in need in our society. The Torah reading for Yom Kippur afternoon is Leviticus 18, which describes prohibited marriages and illicit sexual relationships. Some communities choose to read Leviticus 17, the “Holiness Code” in place of the traditional reading. The haftarah is the book of Jonah.”

(internet information from:  The Abraham Joshua Heschel School)


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