Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Eve of Yom Kippur, what should we do today?

√ TSEDAQA: It is customary to give charity on the eve of Yom Kippur.  Practicing charity is one of the best ways to show our 
renewed commitment to kindness and righteousness (see Kapparot below).

√ EATING: In the eve of Yom Kippur we should eat and drink more than usual in preparation for the fast. Eating more than usual will give us strength to endure the fast and according to some Rabbis it makes-up for the festive (Yom Tob's) meals which will not take place on Yom Kippur. Before the fast begins, we have the se'udat hamafseqet, i.e., the last meal before the fast. We should finish eating before 6:29 p.m. NYT.

√ ASKING FORGIVENESS: Sins committed against another person cannot be atoned onYom Kippur until one seeks first forgiveness from the person he/she has hurt. Thus, it is necessary to visit (or at least call) friends, family, or any person whom one may have aggravated, offended or spoken ill of in the past year and ask forgiveness. That includes friends, colleagues, spouse and other family members. Special attention should be given to asking forgiveness from our parents.

√ FORGIVING: Many people practice the beautiful custom of 'forgiving' everyone that has offended them, removing all bad feeling that might be stored in one's heart. Parents should also forgive their children in their hearts, thus saving them from the serious transgression of Kibud Ab va-Em.

√ TEFILA: We should prepare our Tefilot and especially the Viduy, confession (see here). It is advisable to have a list of the particular things we want to repent from in Yom Kippur. 

√ MIKVEH: It is customary for men to immerse in a Mikveh (ritual bath) on the eve of Yom Kippur. This reminds us of the kohen gadol who would purify himself in the Mikveh before performing his Holy service ('abodat Yom haKippurim).

√ CANDLE LIGHTING: Women should light the candles before Yom Kippur begins. Before lighting the candle a woman should say: Barukh Ata..... lehadlik ner shel Yom haKippurim. (The Mashadi custom is to recite also shehecheyanu).

*Candle lighting today in NYC 6:29 p.m.
*Yom Kippur ends in NYC at 7:35 p.m.

May we all have chatima toba and be inscribed and sealed in the Book of life, blessing and peace!