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By Rabbi Dr. Azriel Rosenfeld | Series: | Level:

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 (609:1).

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 (622:2).

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 Genesis, Inc.