Yom Kippur

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.

Gmar chatimah tova! – May you be inscribed in the Book of Life for good!

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.

Photo of a shofar with Hebrew inscription

This is what a shofar sounds like. Photo: shofar from the nineteenth century; Jewish Museum Berlin, purchased with funds provided by Stiftung DKLB, photo: Jens Ziehe, more on the object in our online collections (in German)

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