Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in Jewish religion and culture, is underway. The observance, which began Tuesday at sunset, is also referred to as the “Day of Atonement.” The tradition behind this holiest of days is to engage in a solemn fast for repentance and atonement of sins.
Yom Kippur marks the end of the annual High Holy Day period (Sept. 16 to Sept. 26 in 2012), which begins with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
Here is how Parsippany's Jewish communities are marking the day:
- Temple Beth Am (Reform): Early services will be held at 9 a.m.; late service is at 12:30 p.m. Yiskor/Neilah is at 4 p.m.
- Temple Adath Shalom (Conservative): The shul office will be closed all day Wednesday. Morning service is at 8:30 a.m. Also at 9:30 a.m., a Young Family service. Mincha followed by Neilah is scheduled for 5 p.m.
- Congregation Shaya Ahavat Torah (Orthodox): On Wednesday, the congregation will observe Shacharis at 8:30 a.m. Yizkor begins at approximately 11:30 a.m. with a break near 2:15 p.m. Mincha followed by Neilah starts at 5:30 p.m., and Yom Tov ends at 7:28 p.m.
(If you have other observances you'd like to share with your neighbors, please add them in comments.)
Yom Kippur falls annually on the 10th day of Tishrei, a month on the Hebrew calendar, which is nine days after the first day of Rosh Hashanah.
To observe Yom Kippur, one should eat and drink festively the day before—once early in the day and once later, before Kol Nidrei synagogue services. Then, for almost 25 hours, the day is spent in the synagogue without eating, drinking and other restrictions.
To observe the High Holy Days and holiday period before Kol Nidrei and after the Yom Kippur fast, many Jewish specialties are made. But there are a few staples that usually make their way onto the table. Try a honey cake, noodle kugel or brisket.