It is forbidden to fast on the day before YOM KIPPUR; indeed, a person must
eat a large meal (604:1). TACHANUN and Psalms 100 and 20 are not recited;
on reciting SELICHOS and "Our Father, our King" see 604:2. It is customary
to visit the cemetery and give charity, and to slaughter white chickens as
an atonement for sins; see 605:1. A person should apologize to anyone whom
he may have offended; if that person does not forgive him, he should declare
before ten people that he apologizes (see 606:1-2). On immersion and
flagellation see 606:4 and 607:6.
A person must recite a confession at the afternoon service, before eating
the final meal (607:1). Even sins that were not committed during the past
year should be mentioned (see 607:4); if a person wishes to confess to
specific sins, this should be done silently (607:2). The confession (see
621:5) should be recited standing, and on YOM KIPPUR it should be repeated
when the leader recites it; see 607:3,5. YOM KIPPUR atones only for the
sins of those who repent and believe that its atonement is effective (607:6).
A person must finish eating before sunset (see 608:1-2), must not eat after
he has accepted the fast verbally (608:3), and should not eat heavy or
stimulating foods in the afternoon (see 608:4). It is customary to light
a candle at home and recite the blessing "...Who commanded us to light
a YOM KIPPUR candle" (see 610:1-2), and for everyone to light a candle
in the synagogue (see 610:3-4). It is customary to put on a white garment
and to set the table (610:4), but not to keep food warm for after the fast
Work that is forbidden on the Sabbath is also forbidden on YOM KIPPUR
(611:2). Eating and drinking, washing and anointing, wearing leather
shoes, and sexual relations are also forbidden (611:1). On eating and
drinking see 612:1-10 and 617:3; it is permitted to handle food and to
feed children (612:10;616:1), and a person who is permitted to eat should
mention YOM KIPPUR when he says grace (618:10). On washing see 613:1,
4-11; washing to remove dirt and washing the hands for religious purposes
are permitted (613:1-3), but ritual immersion is forbidden (613:11-12).
On anointing see 614:1; on wearing leather shoes see 614:2-4; on sexual
relations see 615:1-2. On YOM KIPPUR observance by children see 616:1-2;
on women who are pregnant or nursing, or who have recently given birth,
see 617:1-2,4; on the sick see 618:1-9.
At the evening service, a person stands on each side of the leader (619:4)
and he announces that those who are under the ban are allowed to participate;
he then recites the annulment of vows and the blessing "...Who kept us alive
..." (619:1). Each time SHEMA is recited on YOM KIPPUR, "Blessed be the
Name..." is recited out loud (619:2). After the AMIDAH, SELICHOS are recited
(619:1,3). Some people stay in the synagogue all night and recite Psalms
(see 619:6), and some remain standing all night and all day (619:5). On
additions to the service on the Sabbath see 619:3;622:3;623:3.
The morning service should be completed by noon; see 620:1. On the readings
from the Torah and Prophets see 621:1; on circumcisions see 621:2-3. It is
customary to give to charity in memory of the dead (621:6). In the repetition
of the MUSAF AMIDAH the leader recites a description of the YOM KIPPUR service
in the Temple (621:4). On the priestly blessing see 622:4 and 623:5. The
afternoon service begins (see 622:1) with readings from the Torah and Prophets
The closing service (NEILAH) begins with ASHREI (Psalm 145) and U-VA
LE-TZION (622:1;623:1) just before sunset (623:2). KEDUSHAH is recited as
it is at MUSAF (623:4); "inscribe" is changed to "seal" (623:2). At the
end of NEILAH, after reciting SELICHOS, "Hear, O Israel...", "Blessed be the
Name..." (three times), and "HA-SHEM is G-d" (seven times) are recited,
and the SHOFAR is blown (see 623:6).
The evening service begins after dark (624:2). HAVDALAH is recited in the
fourth blessing of SHEMONEH ESREH (624:1) and also over wine (624:3). The
blessing over fragrance is not recited (624:3); the blessing over fire is
recited, but not over a new fire (see 624:4-5). A person should eat and
rejoice after YOM KIPPUR; it is not proper to observe it for two days (624:5).
Between YOM KIPPUR and SUKKOS (Tabernacles), TACHANUN is not recited (624:5).
Shulchan Aruch, Copyright (c) 2000 Project