Yom Kippur By The Torah



By: William Jackson

Yom Kippur starts tonight at sunset.  There are many traditions associated with this holiday but it is important to understand how the Torah tells us to observe it.  These are 7 steps outlined in Leviticus that will keep us on track.

When: On the tenth day of the seventh month (Lev. 16:29, 23:27), starting on the evening of the 9th day (Lev. 23:32).

Purpose: On this day, atonement will be made for you to purify you; you will be clean before Adonai from all your sins (Lev. 16:30).

7 Requirements:

  1. A Permanent Regulation (Lev. 16:29, 31, 34. 23:30)
  1. You are to deny* yourselves (Lev. 16:29, 23:27, 29, 32)
  1. Not do any kind of work (Lev. 16:29, 23:28, 30)
  1. A Shabbat of complete rest (Lev. 16:31, 23:32)
  1. Have a holy convocation** (Lev. 23:27)
  1. You are to bring an offering made by fire to Adonai (Lev. 23:27)
  1. You are to sound a blast on the shofar (Lev. 25:9)

* We often interpret “to deny yourself” as fasting but the word used is “Tə·‘an·nū” which means “you shall humble” or “ye shall afflict”. The route word is “anah” (6031) which means defile, humble, afflict, or deny. Conversely, the word “Tsom” (6685), means fasting, or too fast.  I feel when we are denying ourselves we are removing distractors so that we can focus on atoning for our sins.  I do not think it is an act of self-deprecation, it is an opportunity to remove ones diversions.  We should be fasting from more than food this day.

**The word used is “Miqra” (4744) which means a convocation, convoking, or reading.

“G’mar Hatimah Tovah”  May You Be Sealed for a Good Year (in the Book of Life).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s