This year, as we prepare our hearts for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, we have walked through Elul and, hopefully, have made ourselves available for repentance before men and our YHWH. For some insight into the process and practice of teshuva, read this article HERE about the month of Elul and the process of repentance.
“At its most basic point, according to the 13th-century Jewish philosopher Maimonides, teshuvah is “returning” to where we have previously failed and doing what we can to ensure we are not making the same mistake a second time.”
After shouting in the Feast of Trumpets with our shofars, we spend 10 days of contemplation and preparation for meeting with YHWH on this solemn, holy day. You can find a discussion about the commands and the observances in What’s A Yom Kippur?
this is to be a permanent regulation for you that on the tenth day of the seventh month you are to deny yourselves and not do any kind of work, both the citizen and the foreigner living with you. 30 For on this day, atonement will be made for you to purify you; you will be clean before Adonai from all your sins. 31It is a Shabbat of complete rest for you, and you are to deny yourselves. This is a permanent regulation.” Leviticus 16:29-31
Yom (Yohm) meaning “day” in Hebrew and Kippur (Ki-poor)from the root word “atone” brings us to what is arguably the holiest day of the Biblical year. With the observance of this festival come the two conjoined fundamentals of repentance and atonement.
Jay Carper, of American Torah, has a few thoughts on the importance of making ourselves “right” during this season.
Tashlikh is supposed to be done on Rosh Hashanah, but I think Yom Kippur is really a much better time for it. The idea is that you take stones that represent your sins, and you throw them into the sea or whatever body of water you can find, preferably water that is moving toward the sea. Yom Kippur is the day of atonement, and while we can do little things to make our wrongs right, only God can really make them go away.
Yom Kippur Resources & Worship Suggestions
The purpose of this article is to provide you with resources, scripture, prayer, music, and more to enhance your day of worship. It is by no means exhaustive but it might seem overwhelming in its volume. Use what you wish as a guide to creating your own observance. The importance of the celebration is to draw near to YHWH with humility and obedience and rejoice in His grace and compassion for His people. Find included Torah/Haftarah/B’rit Hadashah readings for both the morning and afternoon as well as links to supplemental teachings, music, and video.
Morning Worship Service:
Tom Bradford – Torah Class.
One of the most beloved of the Judaic liturgies during the Holy Days is the אבינו מלכנו Avinu Malkeinu, or in English, “Our Father, Our King”.
This piece speaks of the nature of YHWH with honor and reverence and is beautifully sung by Barbra Streisand in this Youtube video.
The lyrics are incredible and the message has echoed through generations for centuries.
Afternoon Worship Service
Isaiah 57:14-21 “Comfort for the Contrite”
Considered to be an integral part of being at peace with men and YHWH, the recitation of the Viduy or Confession Prayer can be a meaningful addition to your worship. To read it in English, click –> VIDUY in ENGLISH
It is traditionally understood that the process of repentance and turning around is made of three steps spoken aloud. A message shared in the B’rit Hadashah (New Testament)
And this is the message which we have heard from him and proclaim to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him — none! If we claim to have fellowship with him while we are walking in the darkness, we are lying and not living out the truth. But if we are walking in the light, as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of his Son Yeshua purifies us from all sin. If we claim not to have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, then, since he is trustworthy and just, he will forgive them and purify us from all wrongdoing. 1 John 1:5-9
The three steps of the Viduy are as follows:
1. Admission of our faults (hakarat hahet)
2. Verbal confession (Viduy)
3. The resolve to abandon our wrong actions and habits (‘azibat hahet)
Time of prayer/worship/contemplation while you examine your heart and life in the light of YHWH’s word. Worship Playlist – Instrumental
It is also traditional and considered important to read the entire book of Jonah during Yom Kippur. One way to get an overview is through the Bible Project graphic novel-style videos. Here is the one they made for Jonah.
“…the Eternal is quick to forgive those who truly repent, resolve to mend their ways, and then do so. If the Holy One will forgive the people of Ninevah, should the Holy One not also forgive the children of Israel.” – 14th century Jewish sage
I highly recommend taking the time to refresh your memory and understanding of this great story and then reading the Matthew text below.
Arthur Bailey – Jonah, Yeshua & False Teachings
Most who preach about Jonah focus on the three days and three nights Jonah was in the belly of the fish as Yeshua illustrated in one of His references to Jonah. However, there was much more to the story of Jonah. In this passage, Yeshua would use this opportunity, after speaking about the sign of Jonah, to call attention to the teachings of Pharisees and Sadducees and caution His disciples about their teachings. (excerpt from the teaching above)
As we conclude our time of scripture, worship, prayer, repentance, and contemplation understand that is was made all the sharper and more intense by our chosen fast and the chastisement of our souls, let’s rejoice together with these words, “He who wins the victory will, like them, be dressed in white clothing; and I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life; in fact, I will acknowledge him individually before my Father and before his angels.” Revelation 3:5
Together with all our fellow worshippers, on this day, I wish you a traditional blessing:
“G’mar chatima tovah!! “May you have a good end of the process of being sealed in the Book of Life.” May your heart continue to rejoice in Yeshua’s great gift of redemption and salvation.