Monday, 10 October 2011

Yom Kippur - The Day of Atonement


This morning in assembly, we looked at the Jewish festival of Yom Kippur, which took place on October 7th and 8th. This is a very special festiva; for Jews all around the world. It is a day of atonement when Jews ask for forgiveness from God for any bad things that they might have done in the year gone by. It is a fasting day which lasts from sunset to sunset.
In the days leading up to Yom Kippur, Jews will apologise to people they might have upset or hurt. Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year for Jews, during which they will fast for 25 hours. Jews do not touch water or food and some will not wear symbols of luxury to remember those who are suffering in the world. Jews will also send friends and family greeting cards.The children gave suggestions of what they could 'give up' for 25 hours, including: playing on computers, watching television and washing. Interestingly, what they felt that they couldn't give up were: eating, drinking, talking and playing with their toys.
During Yom Kippur, the Ark and reading desk in a synnagogue are covered in a white cloth to symbolise purity and cleanliness.
At the end of the final service, a single blast from the shofar shows that the fasting is over and forgiveness has come.


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