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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Israel Series at HebrewPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Israeli holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 9 - Yom Kippur.
Yom Hakippurim, also known as Yom Kippur - יום הכיפורים, is considered one of the holiest days in the Jewish year. It’s a holiday of forgiveness and atonement for sins - מחילה על חטאים (mechila al hataym), when the Torah requires us to afflict our souls. It falls on the 10th day of the month of Tishrei, according to the Hebrew calendar.
In 2015, the holiday occurred on September 23rd, and in 2016, the holiday will occur on October 12th.
Now, before we get into more detail, I've got a question for you-
What Yom Kippur custom involves shoes, and how?
If you don't already know, keep listening! The answer will be revealed at the end of this lesson!
Yom Hakippurim, as its name implies, is meant to atone for the sins that we committed in the previous year. It’s the day we afflict our souls - נשמות (Neshamot) in order to purify them, but it isn't a sad day. It comes with the promise of forgiveness and absolution by God. On this day, people fast and ask God to forgive them for their sins.
The best-known tradition is fasting - צום (tzom). The goal is to afflict their bodies as a precondition for atonement, but it’s also meant to release people from their bodily constraints, so that they can focus on soul-searching. Special prayers are said on Yom Kippur. Those praying admit their sins and ask God for forgiveness. This is also a day they ask forgiveness from anyone they may have wronged throughout the year.
Most of the people in Israel aren't religious - דתיים (da-ti-im), but on Yom Kippur, a special atmosphere permeates every part of the country. There are no radio or television broadcasts, stores and restaurants are closed, and most Jewish residents fast. The airports and seaports are closed, and there are no vehicles on the streets. The streets fill with people wearing holiday clothes, and children and young adults ride their bikes on the empty streets. All of Israel calms down for a day.
On Yom Kippur, there is nearly no vehicle or air traffic. Ships and trains don't run, so the level of air pollution - זיהום אוויר (zi-hum avir) on Yom Kippur is significantly lower than any other time of year.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
What Yom Kippur custom involves shoes, and in what way?
The affliction of the soul required on Yom Kippur contains several prohibitions, including a prohibition on eating and drinking, a prohibition on washing oneself, and even a prohibition on wearing leather shoes. On Yom Kippur, observant Jews wear shoes made of rubber or cloth - בד (bad).
How was this lesson? Did you learn something interesting? What do you think about having a full day without cars—and without food?
Leave a comment letting us know at HebrewPod101.com, and we'll see you in the next lesson!


Please to leave a comment.
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HebrewPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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What do you think about having a full day without cars—and without food?

Hebrewpod101.com Verified
Friday at 08:07 PM
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Hi Shelley,

Thanks for commenting.

I agree!

Note that "little" (amount) is written "מעט" in Hebrew.



Team Hebrewpod101.com

Sunday at 09:01 AM
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Without transportational vehicles, there would be little air pollution.

ללו כלי רכב תחבורתי יהיה זיהום אוויר מעת