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From the Desk - A Brief Guide to Yom Kippur

Shalom Friends!

Thank you for joining us for a warm and uplifting Rosh Hashanah at Beth Ora! A big Yasher Koach to Rabbi Heshy and Levi Benshimon for leading the services so superbly and to all the professional staff and lay volunteers who worked hard before and on Rosh Hashanah to ensure that everything ran smoothly.

It's always nice to have something else to celebrate, right in the middle of the holiday period! This Shabbat, we will be celebrating the Bar Mitzvah of Noah Hazan Mea. I hope that many of our members can join us for what promises to be an uplifting and joyous Shabbat service!

On a very different note, this Sunday is our annual Holocaust Memorial at our Kehal Israel Cemetery in DDO. Especially at the High Holidays when we are so mindful of our past, I hope you will join with our community in determining to never forget, to remember those who perished and to honour our Holocaust survivors. The short memorial service begins at 10:30 AM. Please make every effort to join us.

Below, I provide a brief guide to the holiday of Yom Kippur. One of the main things we should be occupied with during the period in between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is apologizing to those whom we have harmed or hurt. I’d like to ask anyone whom I may have offended or wronged to please reach out to me privately to discuss and give me the opportunity to repair the relationship if need be.

Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom, Shana Tova and well over the fast,

Rabbi Anthony and Carly Knopf Dovid, Rachelli, Yehuda and Avrami

A Brief Guide to Yom Kippur

Below is an outline of some of the laws of Yom Kippur which may be interesting and useful:

Erev Yom Kippur Morning

One mitzvah which we may find very easy to keep is the mitzvah of eating on the day before Yom Kippur! Eating on erev Yom Kippur is a Torah mitzvah. According to the Sages, whoever eats and drinks on erev Yom Kippur will be rewarded as if he fasted on that day.

Seeking Forgiveness

It is important that one receive forgiveness for any wrongdoing against other people. Ideally, one should specify what the wrongdoing was. However, if you think that doing so would upset the other person, you can ask in a general way (e.g. “Before Yom Kippur, I’d like to ask you to forgive me for anything I may have done.”)

Erev Yom Kippur Afternoon

There is a special meal that one eats before Yom Kippur.

In addition to the usual Yom Tov candles, the custom is to light extra candles that should burn until the end of Yom Kippur. A bracha (blessing) is not recited over the extra candles. One who has lost a parent lights a memorial light and there is a custom for each married man to light a candle too. If one intends to make havdalla at home after Yom Kippur, one should light a third light for this purpose. If there is a man in the family, he should be the one to light these additional candles. When lighting the main Yom Tov candles, two blessings are said: ‘asher kid’shanu brmitzvotav vetzivanu lehadlik ner shel Yom Hakippurim’ and the shehecheyanu bracha. These brachot must be said after lighting the candles. If the candles are lit by a woman, she begins the fast from the time of lighting the candles.

If one lives with one’s children, the custom is to bless them before one goes to synagogue.

Men are accustomed to wear at tallit on the night of Kol Nidrei. One should only recite the bracha on the tallit if one manages to put it on before sunset (6:21).

Fasting on Yom Kippur

There are five prohibitions on Yom Kippur (in addition to the forms of work): eating and drinking; bathing; applying oils; wearing shoes; marital relations.

Healthy children from the age of nine should be trained to fast part of the day by giving them meals at a later time than usual. Below this age, children should eat as usual. Since children are exempt from fasting, there is no restriction to the quantity of food that they may eat. One may give them Yom Tov meals and treats in honour of the day.


The viduy (confession) is a major part of the Yom Kippur service. Although all general sins are included in the standard viduy, it is correct to make special mention of personal wrongdoings that one has done. In this way, the confession will be more meaningful and heartfelt. The addition can be inserted at any convenient point.

Yom Kippur Prayers

It is permitted to add private requests at the end of the amidah.

If a man took off his tallit during the day and then put it back on, he should only say a new bracha if he had taken his mind off the tallit and had not worn it for about two hours.

After Yom Kippur

If one makes havdalla, remember that a bracha may only be recited on motzai Yom Kippur on a flame that has been burning throughout Yom Kippur. If one is unable to obtain such a flame, the bracha should not be recited.

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