What You Need To Know About Yom Kippur

What You Need To Know About Yom Kippur | Land of Honey

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Yom Kippur is one of the most significant days of the year. When the Levitical priesthood was in effect it was the only day of the year the high priest was permitted to enter the Holiest Place in the Temple. Vayikra 16 details the Azazel goat that was to be "presented to YHWH alive to be used for making atonement over it by sending it away into the desert." Though YHWH no longer requires animal sacrifices because of Yahusha's sacrificial death, we have a lot to learn about this time that YHWH deemed significant.

In Vayikra 23:31 YHWH himself declares that participating in Yom Kippur is a permanent regulation for all generations, no matter where they are living. This reason alone is enough to celebrate Yom Kippur but it is also mentioned several times in the Renewed Covenant. Paul used Yom Kippur to explain the significance of our atonement through Yahusha in Romans 3:23. Many scholars believe that Yahusha's reading of Isaiah 61 in Luke 4:16-22 happened on Yom Kippur.

Yom Kippur is a day of "humbling your soul." This is traditionally acted out in a 25 hour fast of food and water, from sundown to dark. While fasting is mentioned many places in Scripture, it is not conclusive that this text requires fasting. We do know that Yahusha pointedly mentions in Matthew 6:16 that he expects his followers to fast, so that wouldn't necessarily be an inappropriate expression of humbling yourself.

An all day fast is the perfect reason to make a lovely meal to enjoy before sundown the evening prior. You will also want to plan ahead of time what you will eat when you break your fast. Traditionally wine and challah bread and other sweet things are included in both the pre Yom Kippur dinner and in the breaking of the fast, but Scripture gives no instructions on this so decide for yourself what you would like to eat. Have food prepared in advance to break the fast with - your energy will be low from not eating all day and you won't feel like cooking come nightfall.

We are instructed to have a holy convocation on Yom Kippur and a tradition is to wear white clothing to your congregational service. If you don't have a congregation to attend, consider gathering friends and family for a time of prayer and worship.

In Judaism, a prayer known as the Kol Nidre is a significant part of Yom Kippur services. The idea behind this prayer is that it annuls all your vows for the next year, and it is said to have started during times of persecution when Jews were forced to renounce their faith. I am not sure this is an idea that fits with Scripture. Yahusa said, "let your yes be yes," not, "say whatever's handy and it won't count against you." Instead of the Kol Nidre, pray that you would be wise with your words and commitments.

So what to do for Yom Kippur?

-Prepare for a fast - if you choose
-If you're not fasting decide how you will humble your soul
-Meet with a group of believers for prayer, worship, and Scripture reading
-Wear white to represent your sins being washed away
-Pray! Spend time with your family writing down prayer requests and have each person pray for another.
-Study Scripture
-Give thanks that Yahusha's death covers our sins

Scriptures to be read on Yom Kippur include:
Vayikra 16
Numbers 29:7-11
Isaiah 57:14 - 58:14
Isaiah 61
Book of Jonah
Romans 3:21-26
Book of Hebrews
Colossians 1:14

Please share if you have special Scripture you like to read or a favorite prayer or Yom Kippur tradition below!

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