On Yom Kippur we stand solemnly before God, our judge. There are five restrictions of the day (beginning from dusk, the previous evening); no eating or drinking, no washing, no anointing, no wearing of leather shoes and no sexual contact.
The Yom Kippur Services begin with Kol Nidrei, a moving appeal to God to forgive all our unfulfilled resolutions and promises. Shacharit is followed by a lengthy Mussaf service, which includes details of the High Priest’s Temple services and the rite of the original Scapegoat. The Book of Jonah is read at Mincha. The concluding service, Ne’ilah, is recited with fervour and solemnity as the sun sets and this special season of atonement draws to a close.
The end of the fast is marked by a single blast on the Shofar. It is traditional to start to build one’s Sukkah immediately.
Pictured: Image of Jews praying in shule on Yom Kippur by Maurycy Gottlieb