Yom Kippur, the most sacred twenty-five hours in the Jewish calendar, was celebrated on October 8-9 this year, and millions of Jewish people, even those who openly declare that they are atheists, observed this unique day by fasting and avoiding any form of labor. Why do they do this? Yom Kippur has become something of a national tradition profoundly rooted in the Jewish soul and culture. In the Torah, also known as the Pentateuch, the Israelites are commanded to “afflict their souls” on this day “to make atonement for you before Jehovah your God” (Leviticus 23: 27-28). This most holy…
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