Posted on August 8, 2002 by Rabbi Dr. Azriel Rosenfeld | Series: | Level:


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14. The Day of Atonement – Shevisas Asor

a) Work

We are commanded to refrain from work on the tenth day of the month of Tishrei, as it says “In the seventh month on the tenth day of the month… you shall not do any work… it is a sabbath for you”1; “But on the tenth day of that seventh month is a day of atonement… and you shall not do any work on that same day… you shall not do any work… it is a sabbath for you”.2 The types of work prohibited on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) are the same as those prohibited on the sabbath.a

b) Affliction

We are also commanded to afflict ourselves on the Day of Atonement, as it says “You shall afflict yourselves”,3 and it says “For any soul that will not be afflicted on that same day will be cut off from its people”.4 Tradition teaches us that this affliction consists of fasting (i.e., not eating or drinking) as well as refraining from washing, anointing, wearing shoes, and having sexual relations.b However, one may wash to remove dirt and wear shoes not made of leather; and a sick person may wash, anoint, and wear shoes.c


Sources:

1. Lev. 16:29,31 a. 1:1-2
2. Lev. 23:27-28,31-32 b. 1:4-5
3. Lev. 16:29,31; 23:27,32 c. 3:2,7-9
4. Lev. 23:29