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Preparing for Yom Kippur

Erev Yom Kippur

The day before Yom Kippur is chock full of observances and age-old traditions.

The Day Before Yom Kippur: An Overview of Observances
A concise overview of the observances of the eve of Yom Kippur, along with links leading to more detailed guides.
If we were destined to be the recipients of harsh decrees in the new year, may they be transferred to this chicken in the merit of this mitzvah of charity....
Morning Prayers
Since the day before Yom Kippur is considered a semi-holiday, we omit such prayers that are not in line with the prevailing joyous atmosphere.
Pre-Fast Feasting
It is a mitzvah to eat and drink in abundance, more than one is normally accustomed to, on the eve of Yom Kippur.
Asking Forgiveness
On Yom Kippur, G‑d mercifully erases all sins we have committed "before G‑d"—but not sins we may have committed against our fellow man...
Just as a convert immerses in a mikvah and thus becomes a "new person," so, too, it is our intention to do teshuvah (repentance) and become new people.
It is customary to ask for and receive "lekach" (sweet cake -- signifying a sweet year) from someone (usually one's mentor or parent) on the day before Yom Kippur.
Afternoon Prayers
When the Rebbe would enter the synagogue for the afternoon services of this day, he would have a bag of coins in his hands. The tables were laid with scores, perhaps hundreds, of charity plates...
Separation Meal
Prior to sunset, we partake of the final meal, called the seudah hamafseket, the "separation meal"—separating between the weekday and holiest day of the year.
Yom Kippur Candle Lighting
All women and girls light candles before sunset to usher in the holy Yom Kippur.
Tips for an Easier Fast
Although the Jewish year is filled with wonderful holidays in abundance several times a year—six, to be precise—we fast. Some people find fasting quite arduous, so there are some pointers that can help ease the fast-related hunger pangs.
Top Ten Fasting Tips for the Pregnant Woman
Barring any specific medical conditions, some good planning and some practical coping techniques will allow most women in a low-risk pregnancy to manage a twenty-five hour fast without any complications to the pregnancy or risk to their babies...
Our Facebook fans share their best tips—both physical and spiritual—for an easier fast and a more meaningful Yom Kippur
Recipes for an Easier Fast
Foods for the meals before Yom Kippur
A selection of recipes traditionally served at the festive meals on the day before Yom Kippur, as well as a few new recipes which are high in protein, complex carbohydrates, and/or other nutrients that will help you get through the fast . . .
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