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Yom Kippur Guide for the Perplexed 2012

Hundreds of Jews attend Selichot (forgiveness) prayers, at the Kotel, September 14, 2012.

Hundreds of Jews attend Selichot (forgiveness) prayers, at the Kotel, September 14, 2012.
Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash90

12.  A Memorial Candle, commemorating one’s parent(s), is lit during Yom Kippur.  It reaffirms Honor Thy Father and Mother, providing another opportunity to ask forgiveness of one’s parent(s), as well as asking forgiveness on their behalf.

13.  The Scroll of Jonas is read on Yom Kippur.  It demonstrates that repentance and forgiveness is universal to all peoples. Among its lessons: commanding one to assume responsibilitygetting involved socially/politically; sounding the alarm when wrong-doing is committed anywhere in the world; displaying compassion for all peoples and adhering to faithand optimism in defiance of all odds.

14.  A long sound of the Shofar (תקיעה גדולה) concludes Yom Kippur. It commemorates thecovenant with God (the almost-sacrifice of Isaac), the receipt of the Torah on Mt. Sinai,Liberty (Jubilee) and the opening of Gods gates of forgiveness. The Hebrew root of Shofarשופר means to enhance/improve oneself (שפר). A Hebrew synonym for Shofar is Keseh, כסה, which also means cover-Kaporet-Kippur.

Originally at the Ettinger Report.

About the Author: Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger is consultant to Israel’s Cabinet members and Israeli legislators, and lecturer in the U.S., Canada and Israel on Israel’s unique contributions to American interests, the foundations of U.S.-Israel relations, the Iranian threat, and Jewish-Arab issues.

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