Day of Atonement – Yom Kippur 2010 – Pt 1

Posted: September 17, 2010 in Day of Atonement, Feasts of the LORD

Leviticus 23:27, “Also on the tenth [day] of this seventh month [there shall be] a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. (32) It [shall be] unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth [day] of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.”

This is the most serious day on the Jewish Calendar. God wanted His chosen people to be holy (kadosh – set apart, sanctified), seperated from sin and the heathen influences of the world.

Yom Kippur, also known as  Yom Hakippurim (which means the day of covering or concealing), the Day of  Atonement, The Fast, The Great Fast, Day of the Covering, Face to Face (my favorite name); Day of Forgiveness, Day of Grace, or the Day of Judgment.

In history, this is the day that Moses came down the mountain after the 2nd set of 4o days when he spent his time interceeding for the nation of Isreal because of the sin of worshipping the Golden Calf. He went up the mountain after this idol worship incident on Elul 1 (when Teshuvah begins) and descended 40 days later on Tishri 10. When he came down he had the 2nd set of the 10 Commandments. The Atonement (Hebrew – chaphar, to cover, make reconciliation, to pacify or appease; to clear, purge or cleanse) was made at that time for the nation, one righteous man standing in the gap for the entire nation.

Moses said to HaShem: (Exodus 32:32) “Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. (33) And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.” Notice the word “sin–” with the dashes behind it. That implies a sudden silence. The Midrash comments, “Whether of not You forgive the, take away my personal merits from Your ledger and assign them to the credit of Israel.”

The forgiveness for the nation once a year had to be made by the High Priest, where he would come ‘face to face’ with the glory of God in the Holy of Holies. The ransom sacrifice had to made by blood, because the only thing set apart from the foundation of the earth as an answer to sin was blood. The Israelites were not to touch blood, drink blood or eat an animal with the blood.

Leviticus 17:11 reads, “‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.”

 Exodus 32-34 is a record of Moses on the mountain and Exodus 34:28-29 records, “So he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments. Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses’ hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him.”


  1. HOLDING A CONVOCATION: A special gathering in the synagogue would begin before sundown with people coming together, some dressed in white kittels (robes, as a symbol of  a contrite heart, Is 1:18) with men wrapped in prayer shawls. Some carry a candle as they chant “Light is sown like seed for the righteous and gladness for the upright in heart.” (Ps 97:11) The candles remind the people that God is searching their hearts (Pr 20:27) The evening service begins with Kol Nidre, repeated 3 times, increasing in volume- then chanted by the Canto.  ( Hearts are searched and there is personal repentance for unfulfilled vows, and wrongs done the past year.
  2. HUMBLE YOUR SOULS: Everyone, according to their personal health, will abstain for 25 hours from partaking of food, drinking.
  3. PRESENT AN OFFERING: Sacrifices to God, since there is no Temple to sacrifice, people give an offering to God of money
  4. NO NOT WORK: Work is forbidden on Yom Kippur. The Rabbi is the only one allowed to work. (Lev 23:31,
    You must do no work at all! This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed wherever you live.”)
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