Yom Kippur 2019

Questions and Answers About Yom Kippur


י״ז במרחשון ה׳תש״פ (15 בNovember 2019)


There is no difference between Shabbat and Yom Kippur concerning this matter. I am not sure you are permitted to work on Shabbat and festivals if it is not a question of a life-threatening situation. It is forbidden to work on Shabbat and Yom Kippur when the goal is to ensure the safety of physical assets.

However, if the work you do is involved in saving lives, you can also work on Yom Kippur and get your wage together with the time you worked during weekdays. If you have any other doubts on this matter, send me more details and I’ll be happy to answer you.

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Can one read Psalms on Yom Kippur?

It is proper to read Psalms on Yom Kippur. 

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Can one wash one’s hands on Yom Kippur?

We don’t wash our hands on Yom Kippur unless they become dirty. Whatever hand-washing which Jewish law requires us to do should only be done on the fingers but not the rest of the hand.

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One rabbi told my fiance that one has to fast on Yom Kippur, but one can also watch television, go on the computer, put on the light and electricity and other such things. Is that right?

G-d forbid. He must be a Reform rabbi! This is absolutely wrong. One may not do any kind of work on this holy day just like on Shabbat.

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Why does the day of forgiveness and atonement fall on 10 Tishrei? Is it connected to Rosh Hashana?

This is the day that G-d told our teacher Moses “I have forgiven you as you asked” after the fiasco of the Golden Calf. This day was thereafter established for forgiveness and atonement. G-d ordained this day to occur after Rosh Hashona so we can correct our deeds after the Day of Judgment (Rosh Hashana) and thereby gain forgiveness and atonement on this day.

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Can one drink but not eat on Yom Kippur? Someone told me that she fasts but drinks water. She said that this is still considered as fasting. Is this right or not?

It is prohibited to drink water on a fast day. One who broke his fast by drinking on Yom Kippur must continue to fast since every time he eats or drinks is a separate transgression.

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I am in the ninth month of my pregnancy and expect to give birth after Yom Kippur. How should I keep Yom Kippur?

If you are completely healthy and your pregnancy is progressing as normal, you should fast as usual. If you have contractions every 5 minutes during Yom Kippur, you are permitted to drink. However, in case there is concern of danger to the mother or fetus, such as vomiting which may cause dehydration, etc., and even where a doubt exists whether they are in danger, the mother should drink a small amount less than a shiur (i.e. 40 cc every 5 minutes) until it is clear that there is no longer any danger to life.

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Hello rabbi. I have a few weird questions about Yom Kippur, but I want to make sure I am not making a mistake. 1. May one tear toilet paper on this day? 2. Can one dance / tell jokes / play games / play with dice / sing on this day? 3. Can one touch a woman i.e. welcoming her with a kiss on the cheek? Thanks and sorry for my ignorance.

No problem! 1. No. 2. It is forbidden to dance, it is permitted to tell jokes or sing. 3. It is forbidden to kiss anyone besides your mother on Yom Kippur.

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Hi! I am married and in the seventh month of my pregnancy. I want to know if I can sleep with my husband in the same bed on Yom Kippur. Do the family purity prohibitions apply on Yom Kippur concerning touch?

One of the five afflictions we are commanded to keep on Yom Kippur is avoiding intimate relations. By accepting upon ourselves these afflictions mandated by the Torah together with our personal repentance, we achieve atonement for those sins we did in these matters. This commandment includes, besides the actual refraining from intimate relations, a husband and wife keeping separate as they would during those times that the wife is forbidden to her husband. During the day hours of Yom Kippur, the legal authorities are divided whether mere touching is also forbidden. But sleeping in the same bed is forbidden throughout the entire day according to all opinions.

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