Yom Kippur

Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur, by Maurycy Gottlieb (1878)
On the eve of Yom Kippur by Jakub Weinles
Cliffs of Mount Azazel
Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv, empty of cars on Yom Kippur 2004
Sandy Koufax
Gabe Carimi

Holiest day of the year in Judaism.

- Yom Kippur

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Atonement in Judaism

Process of causing a transgression to be forgiven or pardoned.

Hieronymus Bosch's The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things

the occurrence of Yom Kippur (the day itself, as distinct from the Temple service performed on it)


Fast in Judaism in which one abstains from all food and drink, including water.

Atonement for sins: Fasting is not considered the primary means of acquiring atonement; rather, sincere regret for and rectification of wrongdoing is key. Nevertheless, fasting is conducive to atonement, for it tends to precipitate contrition. Therefore, the Bible requires fasting on Yom Kippur. Because, according to the Hebrew Bible, hardship and calamitous circumstances can occur as a result of sin, fasting is often undertaken by the community or by individuals to achieve atonement and avert catastrophe. Most of the Talmud's Tractate Ta'anit ("Fast[s]") is dedicated to the protocol involved in declaring and observing fast days.


Jewish house of worship.

Eldridge Street Synagogue in New York City, U.S.
Princes Road Synagogue in Liverpool, England
Exterior of Helsinki Synagogue in Helsinki, Finland
Yusef Abad Synagogue in Tehran, Iran
El Ghriba Synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia
Interior of the Samaritan synagogue in Nablus circa 1920
Aerial view of the synagogue of the Kaifeng Jewish community in China.
Ner tamid of the Abudarham Synagogue in Gibraltar
Sarajevo Synagogue, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (1902)
Congregation Emanu-El of New York
The Belz Great Synagogue (2000)
Choral Synagogue of Moscow
Interior of the Synagogue of Szeged
Interior of the Great Synagogue of Florence
Ashkenazi Synagogue, Sarajevo
Congregants inside the Great Beth Midrash Gur
Sardis Synagogue (3rd century AD) Sardis, Turkey
Fresco at the Dura-Europos synagogue, illustrating a scene from the Book of Esther, 244 CE.
The Paradesi Synagogue in Jew Town, Kochi, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Touro Synagogue, the oldest surviving synagogue building in the U.S.
Touro Synagogue, the oldest surviving synagogue building in the U.S.
Painting of the interior of the Portuguese Synagogue (Amsterdam) by Emanuel de Witte (c. 1680)
First century synagogue at Gamla
First century synagogue at Masada
First century synagogue at Magdala
First century synagogue at Herodium
Mosaic in the Tzippori Synagogue
Ruins of the ancient synagogue of Kfar Bar'am
Central Synagogue of Aleppo, Aleppo, Syria (5th century)
Paradesi Synagogue, Kochi, India (1568)
Sofia Synagogue, Sofia, Bulgaria (1909)
Beth Sholom Congregation, Elkins Park, USA (1959)
Great Synagogue of Jerusalem (1982)
Ohel Jakob synagogue, Munich, Germany (2006)
Bimah of the Saluzzo Synagogue, Saluzzo, Italy
Bimah of the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, USA
Cast-iron Bimah of the Old Synagogue in Kraków, Poland
The Great Synagogue of Tunis, Tunisia
The Zarzis Synagogue, Tunisia
The Old Synagogue (Erfurt) is the oldest intact synagogue building in Europe.
The New Synagogue in Berlin, Germany
The main synagogue of the city of Frankfurt am Main (Germany) before the Kristallnacht
The Roonstrasse Synagogue in Cologne, Germany
Beth Yaakov Synagogue, Switzerland
The Great Synagogue of Basel in Basel, Switzerland
The Turku Synagogue in Turku, Finland
The Grand Choral Synagogue of St. Petersburg, Russia
The Great Synagogue of Santiago, Chile
The Synagogue in the Gerard Doustraat in Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Dohány Street Synagogue in Budapest, Hungary
Synagogue, Szombathely, Hungary
Gothic interior of the 13th-century Old New Synagogue of Prague, Czech Republic
The Great Synagogue in Plzeň, Czech Republic
The Lesko Synagogue in Lesko, Poland
The Bobowa Synagogue in Bobowa, Poland
Sukkat Shalom Synagogue in Belgrade, Serbia
Jakab and Komor Square Synagogue in Subotica, Serbia
The Jewish Street Synagogue in Novi Sad, Serbia
Kadoorie Synagogue in Porto, Portugal, the largest synagogue in the Iberian Peninsula
The Baal Shem Tov's shul in Medzhybizh, Ukraine (c. 1915), destroyed and recently rebuilt.
The Cymbalista Synagogue and Jewish Heritage Center at Tel Aviv University
The synagogue of Kherson, Ukraine
Or Zaruaa Synagogue, Jerusalem, Israel founded in 1926.
The Hurva Synagogue towered over the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem from 1864 until 1948, when it was destroyed in war
The remains of the Hurva Synagogue as they appeared from 1977 to 2003. The synagogue has been rebuilt in 2010.
The Ashkenazi Synagogue of Istanbul, Turkey
The interior of a Karaite synagogue
The Paradesi Synagogue in Kochi, India
The Great Choral Synagogue in Kyiv, Ukraine
Great Synagogue of Rome, Italy
Abuhav synagogue, Israel
Ari Ashkenazi Synagogue, Israel
Santa María la Blanca, Spain
Córdoba Synagogue, Spain
El Transito Synagogue, Spain
Sofia Synagogue, Bulgaria
The Choral Temple, Bucharest, Romania
Synagogue of Târgu Mureș, Romania
Interior of a "caravan shul" (synagogue housed in a trailer-type facility), Neve Yaakov, Jerusalem
Ohev Sholom – The National Synagogue in Washington, D.C.
Sanctuary ark, Lincoln Square Synagogue, New York City (2013), created by David Ascalon
The Central Synagogue in Manhattan, New York City
Temple Emanu-El, Neo-Byzantine style synagogue in Miami Beach, Florida
Bevis Marks Synagogue, City of London, the oldest synagogue in the United Kingdom
Stockholm Synagogue, Sweden
Brisbane Synagogue, Australia

The all-day Yom Kippur service, in fact, was an event in which the congregation both observed the movements of the kohen gadol ("high priest") as he offered the day's sacrifices and prayed for his success.


First month of the civil year (which starts on 1 Tishrei) and the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year (which starts on 1 Nisan) in the Hebrew calendar.

The holiest day of the Jewish calendar,
Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, takes place on the 10th of Tishrei.
Rosh Hashanah greeting card, 1910

9 Tishrei – Erev Yom Kippur

Repentance in Judaism

One element of atoning for sin in Judaism.

Herod's Temple, as imagined in the Holyland Model of Jerusalem. It is currently situated adjacent to the Shrine of the Book exhibit at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

Because of Judaism's understanding of the annual process of Divine Judgment, Jews believe that God is especially open to repentance during period from the beginning of the month of Ellul through the High Holiday season, i. e., Rosh HaShanah (the Day of Judgement), Aseret Yimei Teshuva (the Ten Days of Repentance), Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), and, according to Kabbalah, Hoshana Rabbah.

Jewish prayer

Prayer recitation that forms part of the observance of Rabbinic Judaism.

Morning Prayer, 2005.
Jews praying in Jerusalem (HaKotel HaMaaravi), 2010.
Rabbi Yisrael Meir HaCohen Kagan—the "Chofetz Chaim"—at prayer towards the end of his life.
An Israeli soldier lays tefillin at the Western Wall (Kotel) prior to prayer.
Members of the Israel Defense Forces' Givati Brigade pray the Evening Service (Ma'ariv) at the Western Wall, October 2010.
IDF soldier, Asael lubotzky prays with tefillin.
Minyan Ma'ariv prayer in a Jaffa Tel Aviv flea-market shop
Jewish women praying by the Western Wall, early 1900s
Women praying in the Western Wall tunnel at the closest physical point to the Holy of Holies

Ne'ila (, "closing"), is recited only on Yom Kippur.

High Holy Days

Ashkenazi-style shofar. The shofar is used during the High Holy Days.

1) strictly, the holidays of Rosh HaShanah ("Jewish New Year") and Yom Kippur ("Day of Atonement");


Fringed garment worn as a prayer shawl by religious Jews and Samaritans.

A folded tallit
Tallit found at the House of Shimson Kleuger, Oświęcim
An Orthodox Jewish man wearing a wool tallit katan under his vest/waistcoat
A typical tallit bag. The Hebrew embroidery says tallit. Frequently the owner will add additional embroidery with their name.

It can refer either to the "tallit katan" (small tallit) item that can be worn over or under clothing and commonly referred to as "tzitzit", or to the "tallit gadol" (big tallit) Jewish prayer shawl worn over the outer clothes during the morning prayers (Shacharit) and worn during all prayers on Yom Kippur.


Ancient musical horn typically made of a ram's horn, used for Jewish religious purposes.

Blowing the shofar
Shofar (by Alphonse Lévy Caption says: "To a good year"
At Old Jerusalem's Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai Synagogue, a flask of oil and a shofar await the Mashiach.
Jewish "Slichot" prayer service with shofar during the Days of Repentance preceding Yom Kippur at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, 2008.
Yemenite Jew blowing the shofar, late 1930s
Cross section of an animal's horn. To make a shofar, the bone (crosshatches) and fleshy sheath (white) are removed, leaving the actual horn.
Shlomo Goren blowing the shofar in front of the Western Wall, June 1967
A musician blows the shofar during a performance by Shlomo Bar, 2009.
A Dall Sheep with horns.
Greater Kudu, Namibia.
A small shofar made from a ram's horn.
A shofar made from the horn of a Greater kudu.
A small shofar made from a ram's horn.
A Jewish Haredi man blowing a Shofar, 2012
Hasidic Jew, blowing the kudu shofar in Uman, Ukraine, 2010
A Jewish Israeli man blows the shofar at the Western Wall, Jerusalem.

The shofar is blown in synagogue services on Rosh Hashanah and at the end of Yom Kippur; it is also blown every weekday morning in the month of Elul running up to Rosh Hashanah.

Torah ark

Ornamental chamber in the synagogue that houses the Torah scrolls.

Torah ark of the Dohány Street Synagogue, built in 1854.
Arks in the Yochanan ben Zakai Synagogue in Old Jerusalem. The building was originally constructed in the 17th century.
A mobile ark at the Western Wall in Jerusalem
Ark of the 14th century Sephardic Synagogue of El Tránsito in Toledo, Spain
Freestanding ark made in Modena, Italy in 1472
Ark in the 17th century Saluzzo Synagogue in Saluzzo, Italy
Ark in the 1870 Synagogue of Győr in Győr, Hungary
The ark of the 19th century Spanish Synagogue of Prague, Czech Republic
Ark based on a Chinese Buddhist design used by the Kaifeng Jews of China
Ark in the 1903 Choral Synagogue in Vilnius, Lithuania
The ark of the early 20th century Ponevezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak, Israel
Ark of the Grande synagogue de la Paix, constructed in the 1950s
Mid-century modern ark from the 1950s in the Congregation Gemiluth Chassodim in Alexandria, Louisiana, USA
The 1981 Hecht Synagogue uses two alcoves on either side of a window as arks
19th century Torah shrine from the Jewish Community of Solothurn, Jewish Museum of Switzerland<ref>{{Cite book|last=Battegay, Caspar, 1978-|url=https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1030337455|title=Jüdische Schweiz : 50 Objekte erzählen Geschichte = Jewish Switzerland : 50 objects tell their stories|others=Lubrich, Naomi, 1976-, Jüdisches Museum der Schweiz|isbn=978-3-85616-847-6|edition=1. Auflage|location=Basel|oclc=1030337455}}</ref>

Customs call for the congregation when reciting key prayers (such as Avinu Malkeinu – “Our Father Our King” ), to stand and face the ark, on fasting days, the Ten Days of Repentance between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur (also called the High Holidays), and for many piyyutim (poems, songs, etc.) recited during High Holy Day services.