Children's Guide to Yom Kippur

Children's Guide to Yom Kippur

On the afternoon before Yom Kippur, we eat a festive meal.

Light Candles
Girls and their mothers light candles 18 minutes before sunset in your city - see this link for the exact time.

Each girl lights one candle. Light your candle, (carefully!), then sway your hands three times around the candles and recite the following blessings:

1) Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to light the candle of Shabbat and of Yom Kippur.

Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ha-olam Asher Kideshanu Bemitzvotav Vetzivanu Lehadlik Ner Shel Shabbat veShelYom Hakippurim.

2) Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.

Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ha-olam She-heche-ya-nu Ve-ki-yi-ma-nu Ve-higi-a-nu Liz-man Ha-zeh.

Change your Shoes
On Yom Kippur we do not wear leather shoes, so put on your canvas or plastic sneakers or sandals!

All girls over 12 years old and boys over 13 old must fast. If you are not 12 or 13 yet, you are not obligated to fast, but you should refrain from eating sweets and goodies, as Yom Kippur is a very serious day.

Yom Kippur means the Day of Atonement, because it is the day on which we atone for all of our sins.

Yom Kippur is a day of prayer. Go to the synagogue, find yourself a quiet spot, and pray and meditate. Think about the past year, think of all the good things you did and of the not so good things, feel bad about them? Okay, now decide that you will never do those things again. And ask G‑d to forgive you for anything inappropriate you may have done.

At the end of the day, the whole congregation recites the Shema and a few other verses out loud together, then the shofar is sounded for one long blast. After that we say: "Next Year in Jerusalem." We then recite the evening services and the fast is over.

Click here to see how a shofar is made.

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Discussion (12)
October 15, 2015
September 23, 2015
Why is it spelled "G-d" instead of "God"?
October 4, 2014
Yom Kippur, since it is a day of feast, ( today ) I am skipping the sweets.... But.... This girl in my class ( I think she is 9 ) and I mean Religious School, said "Skip everything BUT sweets!" I almost agreed! I'm gonna skip breakfast and have lunch and dinner. But I won't have any sweets and I wish I could have coffee but not today. We should have been going to the synagogue to pray but, me and my mom are not feeling well so we cannot. I'm 10 and I cannot fast all that much and my brother can't either. And my mom has diabetes and thyroid problems so she cannot fast, either. And finally, my dad is a truck driver ( works with oil ) so he won't be able to fast, either. So my family can't fast until me and my brother are old enough and don't have thyroid or diabetes.
I think Yom Kippur helps people learn how to go without food and also to forgive people and ask for your own forgiveness. Thanks for writing this post!
Anonymous ( sort of )
Do I have to tell?
December 4, 2013
you helped us with our school project
November 11, 2013
you have helped me a lot in my homework
November 10, 2013
I have a really naggy teacher and she was impressed on how much i knew on Yom Kippur! THANKYOU!!!!!!!
September 26, 2012
yom kippur
i love yum kippur except the fast it is fun so far but I am srtaving
new york, crown hieght
September 25, 2012
Children's Guide to Yom Kippur
Thank you for having this available and my son will have the opportunity in a public school here in Southern California to share a bit about this most awesome holiday with the fellow students in class with approval from his teacher. I smelled up the entire hallway a couple of years ago with fresh homeade latkes-yes, different holiday of course, but the children, teacher, principal and staff loved my latkes. I feel very blessed that we have a wonderful elementary school that understands that people can be different in faith, yet so much the same in the good, compassionate, humorus, intelligent, adventuresome ways our loving G-d has provided for all of us!
Julie Kiehne-Lamkin
Ramona, CA
October 7, 2011
This website helped me with our project at school thank you
September 7, 2010
this website really help with my research at school thank you

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