Yom Kippur translates from Hebrew to English as Day of Atonement. Traditionally, Jews spend the holiday fasting and reflecting on sins committed over the past year.
Even if you’re not Jewish, you can acknowledge the holiday, and it is indeed respectful to share well wishes to your friends and colleagues who do observe.
According to tradition, it is on Yom Kippur that God decides each person’s fate, so Jews are encouraged to make amends and ask forgiveness for sins committed during the past year. The holiday is observed with a 25-hour fast and a special religious service. Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah are known as Judaism’s “High Holy Days.” Yom Kippur 2022 begins on the evening of Tuesday, October 4 and ends on the evening of Wednesday, October 5.
God judges all creatures during the 10 Days of Awe between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, deciding whether they will live or die in the coming year. Jewish law teaches that God inscribes the names of the righteous in the “book of life” and condemns the wicked to death on Rosh Hashanah; people who fall between the two categories have until Yom Kippur to perform “teshuvah,” or repentance. As a result, observant Jews consider Yom Kippur and the days leading up to it a time for prayer, good deeds, reflecting on past mistakes and making amends with others.
What to say to your Jewish friends on Yom Kippur.