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Yom Kippur

September 29–30, 2017

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year—the day on which we are closest to G‑d and to the quintessence of our own souls. It is the Day of Atonement—“For on this day He will forgive you, to purify you, that you be cleansed from all your sins before G‑d” (Leviticus 16:30).

For nearly twenty-six hours—from several minutes before sunset on 9 Tishrei to after nightfall on 10 Tishrei—we “afflict our souls”: we abstain from food and drink, do not wash or anoint our bodies, do not wear leather footwear, and abstain from marital relations.
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The holiest day of the year. Fasting and atonement, solemnity and joy . . .
Forgiveness and atonement, trepidation and joy, angels and penitents, souls and bodies--are these one and the same? On Yom Kippur they are...