Hebrew for Christians
Berachot Yom Kippur

Berachot Yom Kippur -

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Blessings for Yom Kippur

Seudah Hamafseket

Seudah Hamafseket is the concluding meal before the Yom Kippur fast. The Rabbis reasoned that since it is a mitzvah to fast on the Tishri 10, so is it a mitzvah to eat on the ninth (Tractate Yoma 81b).

The meal, which is similar to a traditional Sabbath meal, takes place before sunset and before Erev Yom Kippur synagogue services. Kiddush, the prayer over wine, is not recited, but the blessing over bread (HaMotzi) is:

Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.

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Barukh attah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam,
ha-motzi lechem min ha-aretz.


Blessings Book
with Audio CD

Before sundown, in memory of parents who are deceased, Yahrzeit candles are lit that will burn throughout the 25 hours of Yom Kippur. After this, two holiday candles are kindled and blessed. This ceremony marks the beginning of Yom Kippur, which means no eating or drinking from this point.

Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who sanctified us with his commandments, and commanded us to kindle the (sabbath and) Yom Kippur candles.

Barukh attah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam, asher kideshanu bemitzvotav ve-tsivanu le'hadlik ner (shel shabbat v’shel) Yom Hakippurim.

Note:  If Yom Kippur coincides with Shabbat, the words in parentheses are added.

The Shehecheyanu Blessing

The Shehecheyanu blessing is said to thank God for enabling us to reach this season:

Blessed art thou, Lord our God, Master of the universe,
who has kept us alive and sustained us and has brought us
to this special time.

Barukh attah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam,
she-hecheyanu ve’ki-yemanu ve’higianu laz’man hazeh.

The Five Prohibitions

Once the holiday candles are lit, Yom Kippur and its five prohibitions take effect. From sunset to sunset, there is:

  1. No eating or drinking
  2. No bathing
  3. No using creams or oils
  4. No wearing leather shoes
  5. No sexual relations

More information about Yom Kippur and its services can be found here.

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