Dry hunger strike and a chicken over your head: meet the Jews on the day of judgment

© RIA Novosti / Ruslan to Krivobokova in fotobanka David. Archival photoDry hunger strike and a chicken over your head: meet the Jews on the day of judgment© RIA Novosti / Ruslan to Krivobokova the image Bank

Russian Jews are preparing to celebrate Saturday the most important day of the year – Yom Kippur, or the Day of atonement, judgment day, when believers, according to tradition, to forgive sins.

Friday evening will begin a 25-hour fast is the most prolonged and severe of the Jews. It must comply with all, except for children under the age of 13.

Change the chicken for money

As told RIA Novosti Rabbi Aaron Gurevich, the Jews observe two daily post – 9th of AV to commemorate the destruction of the Temple and on Yom Kippur. «But Yom Kippur is mentioned in the Torah as the date on which it is necessary «to harass the soul.» Fast of 9 AV was installed much later by the sages,» said Gurevich.

Throughout the post Jews should refrain from water, food, bathing and conjugal intimacy. Due to this abstinence people don’t get worldly pleasures and closer in their state to the angels are incorporeal beings, independent of earthly existence. The Torah says that on Yom Kippur, believers are cleansed from defilement, from all evil that has been accumulated over the year.

«Lent starts the day before (Friday) ceremony kaparot. It implies that women take the chicken, and men of a rooster three times and hold the birds over head. Such actions symbolically indicate that our sins go away on animals. Although the rite with a chicken, not mentioned in the Torah, it is an ancient custom. However, now you can replace birds with money, as it is not always in the city has the opportunity to get a hen and a rooster. I only take the money,» said the Rabbi.

Shabbat on a weekday

Although in the Torah the Day of atonement called the «Sabbath of sabbaths» and this year Yom Kippur falls on a Saturday, not always. «But even if the holiday falls on a weekday, it is subject to all the laws of Shabbat: it is not possible to ride, to use money, smoke, wear clothes on the street to move,» said Gurevich.

Judgment day for both men and women are encouraged to spend in the synagogue. At the evening service the men put on tallit — special white rectangular cover with several blue or black stripes and long fringe along the narrow sides.

All day the Jews recite prayers with short breaks. All this is accompanied by the reading of the Torah. Already at the end of Yom Kippur sounds the shofar – a trumpet of RAM’s horn, announcing that God has forgiven the sins of the people.

The word is not a Sparrow

It is believed that on Yom Kippur, sins are forgiven, that he made man in his relationship with God. If someone has a wine to another person, you’ll first need to figure out a relationship with him, and then pray for forgiveness on judgement day.

Chief Rabbi of Moscow Pinchas Goldschmidt on the eve of Yom Kippur addressed the faithful with a call to pay special attention to words, especially those they write in the Internet space.

According to him, the modern world is communication: orally in person, in email and in social networks. Today people feel free and believe they have the moral right to Express their opinion. However, as warned Goldschmidt, freedom of speech has dire consequences.

«Just say the word, incorrectly or not on time voiced an opinion or comment in Facebook, it becomes cause of long-standing resentments and misunderstandings. Now words can cause wars and hatred. I encourage each of us in the new year to monitor not only their actions and deeds, but our words. And on the eve of judgment day to look around, to remember those who may hurt us, think about the feelings of our loved ones, which our words hurt more,» the Rabbi said in his address.

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