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Yom Kippur‘s Rituals
On the 9th of Tishrei after the 40 days of repentance, that begin with the first of Elul and Rosh Hashanah have passed Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the most sacred of the Jewish holidays, is recorded On Rosh Hashanah G-d has judged most of mankind and has recorded His Judgment in the Book of Life yet he has given a 10 day reprieve. On Yom Kippur the Book of Life is closed and sealed. Those that have repented for their sins will be granted a good and happy New Year. Yom Kippur is not only the day to ask forgiveness for promises broken to G-d but is meant also for asking forgiveness for broken promises between people. Yom Kippur is a day of ''NOT'' doing. There is no blowing of the Shofar and Jews may not eat or drink, as fasting is the rule. On the eve of Yom Kippur the community joins at the synagogue. Then as the night falls the cantor begins the Kol Nidre, emphasizing the importance in keeping vows, as violating an oath is one of the worst sins. One of the important parts of the Yom Kippur service is the confession. These serve to help reflect on ones misdeeds and to confess them verbally is part of the formal repentance in asking G-d's forgiveness. As community and unity are an important part of Jewish Life, those confessions are said in the plural: We have sinned... As Yom Kippur ends, at the last hour a service called Neilla meaning closing and offers a final opportunity for repentance. It is the only service of the year during which the doors to the Ark remain open from the beginning to end of the service, signifying that the gates of Heaven open at this time. Yom Kippur service closes with the Shema, repeated seven times. The Shofar is than sounded once and the congregation proclaim - Next year in Jerusalem.