Yom Kippur is also known as the Day of Atonement and is the holiest day of the year for Jews. Yom means day and Kippur means to atone. Kippur can also mean to cleanse – Yom Kippur procedures in the Temple involve cleansing people of sin.
Yom Kippur is the tenth day of the seventh month – Tishrei and is also known as the Sabbath of Sabbaths. Yom Kippur completes the annual period known as the High Holy Days. On Rosh Hashanah God inscribes a person’s fate for the coming year into a book – the Book of Life and waits until Yom Kippur to seal the verdict. During the High Holy Days Jews try to amend their behaviour and seek forgiveness against God and humans. The day and evening of Yom Kippur are for private petitions and confessions of guilt – by the end one hopes God has forgiven them.