Shalom, Mishpocah/family/friends: Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement – the holiest day of the year when we are to fast and pray and concentrate on “getting ourselves right with our ELOHIM and fellow man”) begins at sunset next Friday (Sept. 29) and ends at sunset on Saturday.
Before I present a short explanation of Yom Kippur, I would first like to publicly apologize to anyone I may have hurt intentionally or unintentionally this past year. I love all my brethren and realize I can be pretty curt and forceful sometimes, especially with those I find annoying. I’m going to work on that….
Now, let’s talk about this particular YHWH-Appointed Time. Here is what He commanded – and please note, this wasn’t only meant for “the Jews”; it was for ALL who accepted Him, and it was to be a “permanent regulation” (see Numbers 15:13-16):
Leviticus 16:29 tells us: "It is to be a permanent regulation for you that on the tenth day of the seventh month you are to deny yourselves and not to do any kind of work, both the citizen and the foreigner living with you. For on this day, atonement will be made for you to purify you; you will be clean before ADONAI from all your sins. It is a Shabbat of complete rest for you, and you are to deny yourselves. This is a permanent regulation." (CJB)
At this point you are probably wondering why we need a “Day of Atonement” since Yeshua was our Atonement. This is thoroughly explained in a wonderful teaching my husband did once at our former synagogue, which also helps to explain what to do on Yom Kippur.
So, what are we supposed to do on Yom Kippur? Well, since we don't belong to a formal congregation anymore, this is what happens at our house on the holiest day of the year:
We spend the day - as commanded in Scripture - fasting from sunset to sunset, and also reading the pertinent scriptures:
MORNING: Leviticus 16:1-34, Numbers 29:7-11, Isaiah 57:14 through 58:14 and Matthew 27:1-32.
AFTERNOON: Leviticus 18:1-30, Jonah 1:1 through 4:11, Micah 7:18-20 and Matthew 27:33-66. (If someone is pregnant or has medical problems that require them to eat a little bit, by all means, do so. YHWH doesn’t expect us to die while keeping His Appointed Times!)
After one of the readings (either morning or afternoon) my husband and I go to separate rooms and just spend some time alone with YHWH, praying, listening to the Ruach, repenting ... and generally apologizing for anything we might have done during the past year that may have upset Him, and asking for help and guidance to prevent making the same mistakes in the coming year. I love to just sit there quietly before YHWH, listening and letting Him know HE is totally in charge of my life!
What you do in between the readings and the praying/repenting is up to you. The main thing on this High Holy Day, is to concentrate on YHWH. Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year. It's not a time for "fun and games"; it's a time to get ourselves "right" with our Maker!