About Yom Kippur
by Rosanne Tolin
The 10-day period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is referred to as “The Days of Awe”. It’s like pre-game time. While Jews count down to Yom Kippur day—also known as “The Day of Atonement”—we think about what we’ve done, right or wrong, the year before. Then we form a game plan of how to do better.
Because Yom Kippur is a serious holiday, many Jews don’t go to work or school. Instead they spend time saying, “I’m sorry for my mistakes.” Hey, who hasn’t goofed once in a while? It’s also important to forgive others for their wrongdoings. So giving your sister a break for spilling your secret is a super way to start.
Tshuvah (repentance) traditions
The service of Kol Nidre takes place on the eve of Yom Kippur. At this service, the rabbi, cantor, and Torah scrolls are all clad in white. Then on Yom Kippur day, many people stay in the temple from morning until sunset. They are praying for tshuvah (repentance). During the service, the rabbi recounts the Book of Jonah, which tells us to face our sins.
Another tradition for those who are 13 and older is to fast (don’t eat!) the entire day, until dinner that evening. The Yom Kippur fast is actually 25 hours long. By fasting, Jews can spend their time asking God for forgiveness. Plus, they think of poor families that don’t have enough to eat. Some temples even hold canned food drives on the holiday to help stock local food pantries.
Towards the end of the Yom Kippur service, the shofar (ram’s horn) is blown. Making its loud blast is no easy feat. In fact, it takes a lot of practice to be the shofar “master”.
When the first three stars appear in the night sky the holiday is over. The service concludes with the holiest Jewish prayer, the Shema: Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. Then everyone joins together for a light meal.
God has closed the Book of Life until next year. Hopefully He will have written good things next to your name!
Recipe: Blueberry Noodle Kugel
Casseroles called noodle kugels, bagels, and eggs are often traditional favorites of the Break-the Fast meal. Here’s a sweet noodle kugel recipe you can serve to your own family on Yom Kippur. The blueberry filling is scrumptious, but you can also try other types of fruit.
• 16 oz. wide egg noodles
• 4 eggs
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 4 tablespoons butter or margarine (room temperature)
• 16 oz. cottage cheese
• 1 large can blueberry pie filling
Boil noodles according to the directions on the package. Ask an adult for help with this part.
Drain the noodles, and rinse them with cold water.
Add the butter and stir until it melts.
Beat the eggs, sugar, and cottage cheese. Stir them together.
Place in a large, greased casserole dish.
Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cover the top of the kugel with blueberry pie filling and bake for another 15 minutes.
Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Dig in and enjoy!