What is the origin of Yom Kippur?
Yom Kippur commemorates a passage from the Bible, “God’s forgiveness” to the Jewish people for the sin of the golden calf. In the book of Exodus, after God revealed the Ten Commandments to Moses at the top of Mount Sinai, he returned to the Israelites. But during his long absence, the people began to worship a false idol: a golden calf. Moses would then have returned to the mount to ask God for forgiveness for the sins committed by himself and his people.
What are we celebrating?
This festival marks the end of a ten-day period of penance referred to as “dreadful days” (yamim noraim) which begins on Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish year. Like Moses, the faithful ask forgiveness directly from their loved ones as well as from God to atone for their faults. Yom Kippur is the culmination of this period of penitence at the end of which Jews are cleansed of their sins.
What does Yom Kippur mean?
Etymologically, the term Yom Kippur or Yom Hakippurim comes from Hebrew and translates as the “day of atonement”.
When is Yom Kippur celebrated?
In 2023, Yom Kippur will begin on the evening of September 24 until September 25 at night. The festival takes place a few days before the Festival of Booths (Sukkot), which will be celebrated this year on September 29. If the times change each year, it is because they depend on the Hebrew calendar which varies between 12 and 13 lunar months depending on the year.