Yom Kippur (“Day of Atonement”) is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. In three separate passages, the Torah states, “the tenth day of the seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a sacred occasion for you: You shall practice self-denial.”(Leviticus 23:27). We fulfill this commandment by fasting, which also enables us to put aside our physical desires and to concentrate on our spiritual needs through prayer, repentance and self-improvement. It is customary in the days before Yom Kippur to seek out friends and family whom we have wronged and ask for their forgiveness.
The Shabbat Shuvah (“The Shabbat of Return”) Service, occurs on the Saturday between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and is considered to be a time of reflection leading up to the Day of Atonement.