Yom Kippur, nine days after Rosh Hashanah, brings to an end the period of self-reflection and repentance, which the Jewish New Year initiated. On this day, God inscribes his judgments of his followers in the "book of life," which is then closed and sealed.
Yom Kippur is a day of earnest contemplation. It is a time for concentrating on prayer, fasting, and refraining from work. Religious Jews spend the day in synagogue, as do many secular Jews. Yom Kippur, the "Day of Atonement," is the highest of all Jewish holidays, and it ends with the blowing of the shofar, an ancient instrument.