Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Beginning Yom Kippur


One is supposed to cease eating somewhat before Yom Kippur begins, in order to add from the mundane to the sacred. In practice, this means somewhat before the sun sets; there is no fixed amount of time which must be added.

Just like for Shabbat, one does not formally begin Yom Kippur until one actually accepts Yom Kippur. This may occur through mental acceptance of the day, but the ideal is a verbal declaration.

Reciting the Birkat haMazon blessings after eating the pre-Yom Kippur meal does not automatically begin the fast, especially if one makes a verbal or mental statement that he is not beginning the fast. It is appropriate to make such a statement, in order to remove any doubt.

(Code of Jewish Law Orach Chaim 608:1, 3; Mishneh Berurah 608:1-2, 12)

Have an easy and meaningful fast,

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