Yom Kippur is, in short, the holiest day of the year in Jewish religion and culture. It is also referred to as the “Day of Atonement,” and the tradition is to solemnly fast for repentance and atonement of sins.
Yom Kippur marks the end of the annual High Holy Day period (Sept. 16 to Sept. 26 in 2012), which begins with . On Sept. 25, observation will begin at sunset in Laguna Niguel at 6:44 p.m. It falls annually on the 10th day of Tishrei, a month on the Hebrew calendar, which is nine days after the first day of Rosh Hashanah.
Locally, you can break the fast as well as attend services at Chabad Jewish Center of Laguna Niguel.
"Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year, celebrates our relationship with G d. It provides aspecial opportunity for each of us to bond with our very essence, the part within us that forever remains close to G d," said Rabbi Mendy Paltiel of Chabad Jewish Center of Laguna Niguel.
"The day is the most solemn of the year, yet an undertone of joy suffuses it. A joy that revels in our connection with our Creator and expresses confidence that, as the doors of judgement close, our prayers will be accepted and we will be granted a year of goodness, life, health and happiness."
Prayer services are open to all, and it's not too late to RSVP.
To observe Yom Kippur, one should eat and drink festively the day before—once early in the day and once later, before Kol Nidrei synagogue services. Then, for almost 25 hours, the day is spent in the synagogue without eating, drinking and other restrictions.
To observe the High Holy Days and holiday period before Kol Nidrei and after the Yom Kippur fast, many Jewish specialties are made. But there are a few staples that usually make their way onto the table. Try a honey cake, noodle kugel or brisket.
"I would like to wish everyone an inspirational, uplifting and meaningful Yom Kippur. May you be sealed in the Book of Life for good health, happiness, nachas, and abundant success in all of your worthy endeavors," Rabbi Paltiel said.