Abstract of the commentary by Michael Schneider, Jerusalem
Already on sunset it starts. Neither eating or drinking is permitted till next sunset. “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God” Leviticus 23:27-28
“It is a sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever.” Leviticus 16:31
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Question to chabad.org: Since it is forbidden to fast on Shabbat, do we fast on Yom Kippur if it falls on Shabbat?
Answer: Your premise is correct; all other fast days are postponed until Sunday when they fall on Shabbat. 1 However, unlike all other fasts, Yom Kippur is not postponed, and is fully observed even on Shabbat. 2 The Torah dubs Yom Kippur, “Shabbat Shabbaton” — the “Shabbat of Shabbats,” 3 implying that it takes precedence over Shabbat.
According to chassidic teachings, Yom Kippur falling on Shabbat doesn’t “deprive” us of the pleasures — eating, drinking, resting, etc. — which Shabbat normally affords us. Rather the extremely holy nature of Yom Kippur accomplishes the same objectives, albeit in a higher, more spiritual manner.
The word “afflict your souls” is an interesting term in the Hebrew language: initem nafshotehem. Out of the same word root we get “torment the soul”, agony and also “poor in spirit.” How has the “affliction of soul” became fasting? See Isaiah 58. Here we find in verse 3 the word-paralell: ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’ It address to the Yom Kippur fasting where we need humble our souls through fasting and prayers!
On Yom Kippur – according to Jewish tradition – the gates of heaven are been closed and so also the Books in front of God. God’s Judgment has fallen over man. Therefore we wish each other the blessing: “May you be signed and sealed in the book of life!”!
In the Ten Days of Repentance from Rosh HaShanah to Yom Kippur numerous times the shofar horn is blown (some say even 100 times) to awake man to penitence, that man should search his heart and ask God and man for forgiveness. In Israel on Yom Kippur the streets are free of traffic, no cars, and the people walking in white to synagogues plead for mercy of “Avinu malkeinu..” Our Father, our King!
Starting with the Kol Nidre prayer, when all the vows are loosed, until the Ne’ila-closing prayer where the assembly proclaim seven times “Adonai hu ha-Elohim – The Lord is God!” – concluded with the blowing of a shofar that breaks the fasting.
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Avinu Malkeinu – Our Father Our King (sung by Barbra Streisand)
Hear our prayer: We have sinned before Thee – Have compassion upon us and upon our children – Help us bring an end to pestilence, war, and famine – Cause all hate and oppression to vanish from the earth – Inscribe us for blessing in the Book Of Life – Let the new year be a good year for us.
„Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land.” Leviticus 25:9
“Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon, at the full moon, on our solemn feast day.” Psalm 81:4.
Yes, from the Day of the Blowing (in Shofars; Yom Teru’a that is today called Rosh HaShanah) until the Feast and Fasting of Yom Kippur!
Chatima tova! – May you be signed and sealed in the book of life!
Kol Nidre by Neil Diamond