Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the tenth day of the month of Tishrei. Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year. On Yom Kippur, we spend the whole day praying to Hashem for forgiveness. Keeping with the holiness and importance of the day, the restrictions on Yom Kippur are greater than on any other day during the year. On Yom Kippur, besides observing the regular restrictions that Shabbos carries with it, there are six added restrictions. It is forbidden to eat, drink, wash one’s self, anoint one’s self, wear leather shoes, and engage in marital relations. Why do we have these restrictions?
The Sefer HaChinuch explains that our having Yom Kippur is a kindness of Hashem. Hashem established that all the creations of the world have one day during the year on which, if they repent, their sins will be forgiven. Because of the focus of the day and how important it is that we stay focused during the day, we have these added prohibitions. Eating, drinking, and other sensory pleasures may entice the “earthly” (or non-spiritual) element in a person to be further drawn towards sensory pleasures and indulgences, and sin because of that. Furthermore, if a person allows himself to be caught up in sensory pleasures, he will have a barrier placed in front of his intellect, that will prohibit the intellect from striving for the truth. The “truth,” of course, is serving Hashem and adhering to His Torah.
One must also remember that on Yom Kippur, we are like slaves pleading for mercy in front of our master. It is not sensible for a slave who is standing in judgment before his master to have a less than clear mind, so that he can present his case, defend himself, and plead for mercy properly and effectively. It is therefore not fitting for this slave to have a less than whole heart on… FOR MORE PLEASE CLICK LINK: http://www.torah.org/learning/yomtov/yomkippur/vol1no42.html#
This article from VOICE of AMERICA offers the conundrm as Israel celebrates a New Year today:
September 17, 2012
Jews around the world are observing Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. In Israel, the mood is sober. Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Jewish High Holy Days and is a time of reflection and prayer. Israelis ushered in the New Year with a sense of uncertainty amid tensions with Iran that have heightened fears of war. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had this message for Jews in Israel and around the world.
On Feb. 6, 2006, I invited 400 evangelical leaders to Cornerstone Church in San Antonio. I invited presidents of Christian universities, owners of radio/television networks, presidents and owners of publishing companies, major pastors and the prominent television personalities.
Avishai Abrahami sits on the rooftop patio of his five-year-old Web company, Wix.com, contemplating the scene below. The Mediterranean Sea gleams in the late afternoon sun, shedding rays on the wooden planks of the uber-popular Namal boardwalk at the Tel Aviv port on the city’s north end. As he reaches into the well-stocked ice cream chest for two chocolate popsicles, a programmer pulls a beer from the fridge while a kitchen staffer lays out trays of fresh melon, dates and mango for the 7 p.m. round of fruit shakes.
“It’s a little early for beers,” says Abrahami with a smile (since office hours go until 8 or 9 p.m.). “But he’s been working hard.”