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Glossary for the Day of Atonement “Yom Kippur”

Glossary for the Day of Atonement “Yom Kippur”

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Akedah: (lit. “the binding”); referring to the Biblical account of The Binding of Isaac.

Al Chet: (lit. “for the sin”); a pro forma confession of sins in alphabetical order, recited on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

Aliyah: (lit. “ascent”); the honor of being called up to recite the blessing over the reading of the Torah scroll.

Aseret Yemei Teshuva: (lit, “the ten days of return”); the Days of Repentance, always the first ten days of the Jewish month of Tishrei, beginning on the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and culminating on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). A time period for focusing on prayer, charity and return to the G‑dly path.

Arvit: the evening prayer service.

Avinu Malkeinu: (lit. “our Father, our King”); a prayer beseeching our Father in Heaven to grant us our needs, recited during prayer services throughout the High Holidays.

Avodah: (lit. “service”); the detailed recounting of the what the services in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem were like on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

Haftorah: (lit. “concluding portion”); a section from the Prophets read at the conclusion of the reading of the Torah scroll.

Kaparot: (lit. “atonements”); atonement ceremony performed prior to the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), traditionally while holding a fowl (alternately a fish or money) which is then given to charity.

Kittel: (lit. “robe, coat”); a white gown worn on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

Kol Nidrei: (lit. “all the vows”); solemn prayer opening the evening service of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) annulling the community’s vows.

Kreplach: (Yiddish); pastry delicacy with filling of ground meat or chicken traditionally served on certain festive occasions such as before The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

Malkot: (lit. “lashes”); the tradition for all men to receive symbolic “lashes” on the eve of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

Maariv: the evening prayer services.

Machzor: (lit: "cycle"); the prayer book used on the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

Mikveh, Mikvah: (lit. “collection or gathering [of water]”); ritual pool in which one should immerse prior to the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

Minchah: (lit. “the offering”); afternoon prayer service.

Musaf: “additional” prayer service recited on major Jewish holidays.

Neilah: (lit. “closing”); the fifth prayer service recited at the conclusion of The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

Ner Neshamah: (lit. “soul candle”); a 24-hour candle lit in the synagogue for the living and the departed prior to The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

Selichot: penitential prayers read Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

Seudat hamafseket: meal eaten right before the fast of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

Shabbat shuvah: (lit. “the Sabbath of Repentance”); the Sabbath between the Jewish New Year (Rosh HaShanah) and The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

Shacharit: (lit. “the dawning”); the morning prayer service.

Shofar: A ram’s horn blown daily during the Jewish month of Elul (not including the last day), on the Jewish New Year (Rosh HaShanah), and at the close of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

Tekiah gedolah: the protracted Shofar blast blown at the conclusion of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

Teshuvah: (lit. “return”); repentance, the return to the correct path of observance of G‑d’s commandments.

Tzedakah: (lit. “justice, righteousness”); charity, traditionally given in abundance prior to the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

Yahrtzeit candle: (lit. “anniversary candle”); a 24-hour candle lit on the eve of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

Yizkor: prayer for the souls of departed parents recited on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

Yom Kippur: the Day of Atonement. The fast day, spent in prayer and returning to G‑d, that takes place on the tenth of the Jewish month of Tishrei. The climax of the High Holidays.

By Chabad.org Staff
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Gloria Tx October 9, 2016

What do you say to your Jewish friends on kippur...have a blessed day perhaps?? Reply

Rabbi Menachem Posner October 9, 2011

RE: Yom Kippur For next year, you can wish them an easy and meaningful fast. Reply

Anonymous Saugerties, NY/USA October 7, 2011

Yom Kippur What is the proper way to wish my Jewish friends a greeting? Reply

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