As the corona numbers keep on rising, the rules surrounding the lockdown are beginning to tighten from Friday onwards. Just days before the most important Jewish holiday of the year: Yom Kippur!
Last week, we already talked about Rosh Hashana, also known as the Jewish New Year. Experiencing it for the first time was great, and I can’t wait to celebrate it again when Corona isn’t restricting the complete holiday.
Yom Kippur is the holiest day in Judaism. It is a unique day in which Israel comes to a complete stand still. Everything is closed, from stores to tv, radio and roads. For 25 hours, Jewish people are fasting on this day of Atonement. It is the day you will be judged by God for your sins.
According to the Thora the first Yom Kippur took place after the Israelites escaped Egypt and arrived at Mount Sinai, where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. Once Moses came back down from the mountain, he saw his people worshipping a golden calf, and he smashed the Ten Commandments. The Israelites asked for forgiveness and when God forgave them for their sins, he gave Moses a second set of tablets.
A day of self reflection
The holiest day starts on the evening of the 27th of September 2020 and lasts until sundown of the 28th of September 2020. This holiday is all about asking forgiveness from God (for believers) and from fellow people and repenting from the previous year’s sins. On this day, you must observe certain rules, which include refraining from eating and drinking, wearing leather shoes, washing and wearing makeup, and engaging in marital relations.
However, not all Israelis spend this day in the same way. Some people of Jewish faith spend most of the day in the Synagogue praying. While others take this day as an opportunity for reading, rest and self reflection. However, children and teenagers usually spend this day to go out and cycle, skate or play on the empty roads.
When you think about Jewish holidays, food is always the centerpiece. In Yom Kippur, people are fasting for 25 hours. That doesn’t mean you don’t start and end the 25 hours with a big family meal. This year with the lockdown and the tightening of the rules it will be filled in differently for each family. But the basics of fasting, praying and self reflecting will be the same.
Because of the restrictions travelling isn’t really an option. So we gotta wait till October the 10th before exploring the country and Tel Aviv better. I honestly can’t wait to travel and explore the place with Aviya!
Let’s end this blog post with a little sneak preview on something I’m currently working on. For those of you who have read my About Me page will know I wanted to do some interviews with people that inspire me. A few days ago the first interview took place with the current guitarist of a band I love called Whitesnake. We will soon publish the interview, so stay tuned for that!