For the week ending 5 October 2019 / 6 Tishri 5780

Yom Kippur

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  1. Passover commemorates the going out of Egypt. Shavuot commemorates the giving of the Torah. What historical event can Yom Kippur be said to commemorate?
  2. For what kinds of sins does Yom Kippur not atone?
  3. What should someone do if the person he wronged does not forgive him the first time?
  4. Why is the Vidui confession included during the mincha prayer the afternoon before Yom Kippur?
  5. On Yom Kippur we refrain from: Working, eating, drinking, washing, anointing, family relations and wearing leather shoes. Which three of these prohibitions are more severe than the others?
  6. In what two ways does the prohibition against eating food on Yom Kippur differ from the prohibition against eating pork the entire year?
  7. Who wrote the prayer "Unesaneh Tokef" said during the chazan's repetition of musaf?
  8. Why do we read the book of Yonah on Yom Kippur?
  9. In what two ways does havdala after Yom Kippur differ from havdala after Shabbat?
  10. Ideally, what mitzvah should one begin immediately after Yom Kippur?


  1. Moshe came down from Mount Sinai on the tenth of Tishrei with the second set of Tablets, signifying forgiveness for the sin of the golden calf. Yom Kippur can be said to commemorate this event, the first national day of forgiveness for the Jewish People.
  2. Sins committed against other people, including hurting someone's feelings. Yom Kippur does not atone for these sins until the perpetrator gains forgiveness from the victim himself. (Orach Chaim 606:1)
  3. He should try at least two more times to gain forgiveness.(Orach Chaim 606:1)
  4. Lest one choke while eating the pre-Yom Kippur meal and die without atonement, or lest one become intoxicated and unable to concentrate on the prayers at night. (Mishneh Berura 607:1)
  5. Eating, drinking, working. (Mishna, Kritot 1:1)
  6. (i) Although any amount is forbidden, eating on Yom Kippur is not punishable by a Sanhedrin until one has eaten food equal in volume to the size of a date. Eating pork, on the other hand, is punishable for eating even an olive-sized piece, which is smaller than a date. (Mishneh Berura 612:1) (ii) Eating on Yom Kippur incurs the punishment of karet – spiritual excision, whereas eating pork does not.
  7. "Unesaneh Tokef" was written by Rabbi Amnon of Mainz, Germany, about 1000 years ago.
  8. The repentance of the people of Ninveh serves as an inspiration to us to repent, and shows us that repentance can overturn a Divine decree. (Shelah Hakadosh)
  9. After Yom Kippur, the blessing over spices is omitted from havdala. Also, the source of the flame used for havdala after Yom Kippur must be a fire kindled before Yom Kippur. (Orach Chaim 624:3,4)
  10. Building the succah. (Rema, Orach Chaim 624:5)

Yom Kippur Yiddle Riddle

Question: On one historic Yom Kippur, the entire Jewish people ate and drank and were praised for it by Hashem. When did this occur?

Answer: When King Solomon built the Temple, Yom Kippur occurred during its seven Inauguration Days. The Sanhedrin decided that not only must the Inauguration Sacrifices for the Temple be offered, but, moreover, the people must cook, eat, and drink on Yom Kippur or else the happiness of the Inauguration would be incomplete. (See Tractate Mo'ed Katan 9a.)

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