We have different celebrations that we highly esteem and remember, especially if has something to do with religious events. Since the month of October is coming, Jews are looking forward to their most sacred and important holiday, which falls between October 07-08, which is known as Yom Kippur or better known as an Atonement Day. To those Christians who believe in Jesus Christ and the mission that he performed here on earth, they would recognize and hallow this sacred day. It is a serious reflection of the sins that they have made a day to atone themselves. It is associated to the Sabbath Day observance found in the Ten Commandments and the Law of Moses. Hence, to give us a better and clearer understanding, here are 10 traditions that they do observe when this event comes.
10. Refrain from Working
Since this is based on the 7th day of the week, which is canonically recorded as sacred and treated by the Lord himself as His day, everyone is encouraged to make serious reflections of the sins they have done and committed. They must find ways to seek forgiveness or make amends on the wrong doings committed to others. No one is allowed to work but devote it in remembering Him and His ultimate sacrifice.
9. Leather Shoes are prohibited
Wearing of leather shoes and even other shoes, which are made out of animal skin, must be avoided since ancient Jewish people traditionally wore canvas sneakers, which symbolizes purity and humility. Most of the people during this time wear leather or plastic.
8. Bathing or Washing Is Not Allowed
This is a part of the Talmud’s instruction where most of its directions are found in the book of Leviticus in the Old Testament. The idea here is in the act of doing it, if the intention is to get pleasure out of it that definitely opposes the sanctity of the whole event. The intention of doing it is identified. If you want it because you want to clean yourself, it is called cleansing and not bathing, which is permitted. but if it is the other way around, which is to cause excitement and pleasure, it should be avoided.
7. Abstaining from Usage of Perfumes/Lotions
This is considered part of human pleasures that must be avoided by anyone who is observing this event. It also includes applying lotion on the skin, deodorant, and even other cosmetics. These things signify worldliness and invites pleasure. When people are participating and doing this activity early in history, death is the capital punishment for breaking this tradition.
6. No Marital Relations
Giving of oneself to this sacred day is what the Lord requires to all Jewish who believes in this event. This is part of worldly pleasures, which is not appropriate when doing serious meditation about the importance of the atonement.
5. Yom Kipppur Prayer Service
Aside from individual or personal prayer being done at home, there are also sets of prayers known as Yom Kippur Prayer Service, which is divided into 5 parts apart from the typical 3 times a day prayer in regular days. They are called Ma’ariv, Shacharit, Musaf, Mincha, and lastly the closing prayer called Ne’ilah.
4. Public/Private Petitions and Confessions
This tradition are other parts of the Prayer Service wherein a special prayer may be uttered while confessing publicly, the sins that have been committed, which is part of the repentance process on the day of the atonement. This is also called Vidui where it also includes private petitions on this day.
3. Staying in Synagogue Services
This is an important activity that an individual can do to hallow this day. It starts by spending the whole day in prayer in an Orthodox way. It opens at 8 or 9 in the morning which would last until 3pm. By 5pm to 6pm until the nightfall, they would continue. Other services or activities being done at the synagogue could be participated as an ideal way to finish the two-day celebration of this holy holiday.
2. Intensive Prayer
Nothing will suffice to give a full devotion to this day but by unceasing communion through prayer. There is a place intended where constant communication can be made and one of which is the synagogue, aside from home. This is the most sacred way of expressing and reciprocating meditation and worship.
1. 25-Hour Fasting
This is the primary tradition that cannot be forgotten. Before the sunset begins, it signifies that abstinence from any food and liquid must be done. When the nightfall comes, they could partake of any food. This is one way of living for 25 hours as if our body is dead since we are not taking in any food in our body. As nightfall begins, individuals may stop fasting, but will continue doing it the following day to complete the 25 hours observance and abstinence from food.