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Yom Kipper by DocDoyle


									John Doyle Anthropology 269 – World Religions Yom Kippur
Judaism is richer in history than any other religion on record. The story goes back to pre-Biblical times and continues on till today. One way they keep this religion remembered is by celebrating throughout the year. Yom Kippur is one of these celebrations. This is a time for the Jewish people to take a day off and remember God. Yom Kipper is the most sacred day of the year. It is known as the Day of Atonement and the meaning of that is a day to make up for someone’s faults they may have caused. They pray and fast the entire day. Some go to the Synagogue while others may sit at home, looking for God’s forgiveness and making promises to better their lives. "Should he fine me, his penalty is not eternal" for I would be able to earn more money. "Should he imprison me, his imprisonment is not eternal" for he might die and his successor will release me. "Should he kill me, my death is not eternal for he can only affect my body, but my soul returns to G-d."1 Yom Kippur is a day designed to bring Jews closer to God. They want to be sure that God loves them so that when they die God will be good to them and they will meet him. Yom Kipper was a day given by god so that the person could receive forgiveness. Since it is the Day of Atonement all previous sins before other people need to be settled first. Then on Yom Kipper the person will be able to present himself to God. There are certain laws for Yom Kipper. The day before Yom Kipper they will have a

huge feast. There is no eating and no drinking, even water, for the whole day. It begins before sunset on the previous evening and goes till sunset on the holiday. They strict work restrictions, no work. There is no eating, no using any types of cosmetics, no leather shoes, and no sex. These laws can be adjusted for the health of the person, children under nine are exempt and so are women in labor.2 The Jews praying to God for forgiveness on a certain day was viewed by antiSemites as untrustworthy. Christians would question why they had to ask for forgiveness if they were God’s people. The Reform movement of Judaism had these prayers removed from the liturgy (celebration) for a while. Some felt it made them feel better about being forced to turn to Christianity; some sins were not their own fault. It has since been returned.3 The Jewish holidays have been effected greatly by their persecution. After the holiday is over they have one more chance to give forgiveness to God. This is the only time when the doors to the Ark of the Covenant are stored. This is historically where the Torah scrolls are stored. And the name Ark of the Covenant is named so because covenant means promise and the Jewish people are making their promises to God to be good. While God is promising to keep them safe. This time is also when the gates of heaven are open.4




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