Yom Kippur

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Erev Yom Kippur

Eating on Erev Yom Tov

  1. It is a mitzvah to eat and drink on Erev Yom Kippur and one should even lessen one's learning and work in order to eat more on Erev Yom Kippur. [1]It is forbidden to forbidden to fast on Erev Yom Kippur. [2]
  2. This mitzvah primarily applies during the day of Erev Yom Kippur and not the night of Erev Yom Kippur. [3]
  3. Preferably one should eat at least one bread meal on Erev Yom Kippur. [4]
  4. This mitzvah to eat on Erev Yom Kippur applies to women also. [5]


  1. There's is no Tachanun on Erev Yom Kippur. [6]


  1. There is an old minhag (tradition) among Sephardim and Ashkenazim [7] to do Kapparot during the Aseret Yamei Teshuva (ten days of Repentance) and preferably it should be done on Erev Yom Kippur in the morning. [8] If one didn't do it before Yom Kippur one may do it on Hoshana Rabba. [9]

What should be used for Kaparot

  1. One should take a male chicken for a male, female chicken for a female, and both a female and male chicken for a pregnant woman. Some take two female chickens and one male chicken for a pregnant woman. [10]
    1. A pregnant woman within 40 days of the pregnancy doesn't need to take a second chicken for Kapparot. [11]
    2. A pregnant woman does not need to pick up all the chickens at once but it's sufficient to pick them up one at a time. [12]
  2. If one is poor one may use a single chicken for the whole family. [13]
  3. If one can't get a chicken one should take a goose or other animal which isn't fit for a korban. Some say one may even take a live fish. [14]
  4. If one can't even do that then one should take money and circle it around one's head say זה חליפתי תמורתי כפרתי and give it to Tzedaka. [15]
  5. Some say that one should preferably use white chickens, however, many say that one shouldn't make a special effort to get a white chicken. Some say not to use a black chicken. [16]
  6. If a man took a female chicken or a woman took a male chicken one fulfilled one's obligation yet it's preferable to repeat it with the correct gender chicken. [17]


  1. When one takes the chicken and circles it around one's head one should say זה חליפתי זה תמורתי זה כפרתי. [18] For the full hebrew text click here and for for the full english text click here.
  2. When proforming Kaparot a person should think about Teshuva (repentance) imagining that the 4 types of death sentences that are carried out on the chicken should be happening to me. [19]
  3. The minhag is to give the slaughtered chicken to a poor person or to redeem it with money and then give it to a poor person. [20]

Covering the blood

  1. After the slaughtering the Shochet there is a unique opportunity to preform the mitzvah of Kisui HaDam (covering the blood) by covering the blood of the chicken with dirt that was set aside beforehand. [21]
  2. Kisui HaDam (covering the blood) should be preforming only after the shochet checks his knife to see that it was a proper slaughtering. After the check the one performing this mitzvah should make a bracha על כסוי הדם בעפר. [22]
  3. Either the Shochet should preform the covering of the blood or if the owner of the chicken is God fearing and wants to preform the mitzvah the shochet is allowed to give him the opportunity and in such a case it's preferable that originally the owner should appoint the shochet as his agent in preforming the sechita (ritual slaughtering). [23]
  4. The dirt should be designated by verbally stating that this dirt is for covering of the blood of the chicken. [24]
  5. Dirt should be place beneath and above the blood of the chicken. [25]

Asking forgiveness=

  1. Yom Kippur doesn't grant one forgiveness for one's sins between a man and his fellow until one appeases and receives forgiveness from one's friend. Therefore, it's esspecially important to appease one's friend on Erev Yom Kippur. [26]
  2. If one has money which is disputed and can be claimed by someone else even if that other claimant doesn't know one should tell them and then settle the dispute with the local Rabbi. In monetary matters one must not rely on one's own judgement because the Yetzer Hara (evil inclination) fabricates many justifications. [27]
  3. Children have a holy obligation to ask forgiveness from their parents because of Kibbud Av VeEm (respecting one's parents). Similarly, spouses should forgive one another. A student should ask forgiveness from his Rebbe if he lives in the city. [28]
  4. It's forbidden to be cruel and not forgive but rather in one's heart one should completely forgive him for the offense. Even if it pained it intently one should not take revenge or harbor a grudge. [29] If one forgiving Hashem will forgive his sins, however, if a man is stubborn and doesn't forgive Hashem will act accordingly (Chas VeShalom). [30]
  5. If a person who offended his fellow and asks forgiveness the friend shouldn't reject the appeasement unless it is intended for the benefit of the one who did the offense so that he is humbled and doesn't continue by doing that offense. [31]Nonetheless, if one is not granted forgiveness for the benefit of the offender one must be sure to remove any hate of the offender from one's heart. [32]
  6. If a person spread a bad name about someone else it is permitted not to forgive that person, however, it's preferable to be humble and forgive even in such a case [33] except for a Talmid Chacham who should not forgive easily (in such a case) especially when it's done for the benefit of the the offender to change from his ways. [34]
  7. If a person said Lashon Hara (evil speech) about his fellow and his fellow doens't know about it some say that one should just ask forgiveness from his fellow in a general way and not spell out that he said Lashon Hara against him, however, others say that one specify that one did speak Lashon Hara about him. [35]


  1. Some have the practice to dip (Tovel) in the mikvah on Erev Yom Kippur and it's preferable to do so before Mincha but some have the practice to do it after Seuda Mafseket as long as one does it before nighttime. [36] Some say that one should does it after 5 halachic hours into the day but if one is unable one may do it after Olot HaShachar (dawn). [37]
  2. Some say that submerging oneself in the mikvah once is sufficient and some say three times. [38]
  3. No bracha is made for this tevilah. [39]
  4. If it's painful for one to dip in the mikvah or one is unable to because of a weakness one may pour 9 Kav of water on one's head. [40] Taking a shower for the length of time it takes for 9 Kav to come out is sufficient. [41]

Shabbat Shuva

  1. The minhag is for the Rabbi of the community to give a Drasha on Shabbat Shuva about Hilchot Yom Kippur and Sukkot as well as inspiration for Teshuva. [42]

Yom Kippur night prayers

  1. If a congregation didn’t say Kol Nidrei until after nightfall of Yom Kippur the congregation may say it. [43]

Yom Kippur morning prayers

  1. It’s preferable to minimize in piyutim and selichot in order to start Mussaf before six and half hours. [44] However, if one did wait until after six and a half hours one should say Mussaf first and then Mincha unless nine and a half hours passed in which case Mincha should go first. [45]
  2. Some have the minhag to add Piyutim even during the Brachot Kriyat Shema, however, it’s preferable not to add Piyutim there. [46]
  3. The Minhag is to add Piyutim which are relevant to the purpose of the day. However, one shouldn’t add so many not to delay saying Shema in its proper time. [47]
  4. There’s different minhag as whether to say the first פסוק of Mizmor Shel Yom HaShabbat on Yom Tov and Yom Kippur. [48]
  5. A Talmid Chacham should not separate himself to learn Torah while the congregation is praying or saying selichot. [49]
  6. It’s preferable to say less Piyutim slowly instead of saying many Piyutim quickly. [50]
  7. One should sure to say at least ten Vidduy’s (confessions) on Yom Kippur. [51]The Minhag is to count one from Mincha of Erev Yom Kippur, one from Arvit of the night, four from the four prayers during the day and four from the four Chazarat HaShatz’s. [52]


  1. S"A 604:1, Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S"A 604:1)
  2. Rama 604:1
  3. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S"A 604:2)
  4. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S"A 604:3)
  5. Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 74)
  6. S"A 604:2. Kaf HaChaim 604:18 points out that one does say Tachanun at Mincha before Erev Yom Kippur.
  7. S"A 605:1 writes that one should prevent the minhag to do Kapparot on Erev Yom Kippur. Mishna Brurah 605:1 explains that the reason for this opinion is that it looks like Darkei Amori (superstitious pagan practice). However, the Rama 605:1 writes that it's an old minhag and one shouldn't stop from keeping the minhag. Mishna Brurah 605:2 explains that the minhag is justified because it's similar to a korban and it's as though the punishment one deserves is taking place on the chicken. Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 75) and Sh"T Yabea Omer 2:71 writes that this practice is the minhag of all of klal yisrael and it should not be stopped.
  8. Rama 605:1 writes that it is an old minhag to do Kapparot on Erev Yom Kippur. Mishna Brurah 605:2 comments that if there's a concern that having everyone do Kapparot on Erev Yom Kippur in the morning won't give the Shochet enough time to do a proper slaughtering on all the chickens one should do Kapparot a day or two earlier because the entire period of Aseret Yamei Teshuva is a time of atonement. Therefore, Natai Gavriel 10:1 writes that it should be done during Aseret Yomei Teshuva and preferably on Erev Yom Kippur in the morning.
  9. Natai Gavriel 10:7
  10. Rama 605:1, Mishna Brurah 605:3, Natai Gavriel 10:2
  11. Natai Gavriel 10:3
  12. Natai Gavriel 10:4
  13. Mishna Brurah 605:3, Natai Gavriel 10:16
  14. Mishna Brurah 605:4, Natai Gavriel 10:17,19
  15. Natai Gavriel 10:17. Similarly, Mishna Brurah 605:1 writes that if there's a concern that there'll be too many chickens for the shochet to slaughter properly one may do Kapparot early or take money, circle it around your head, and give it to Tzedaka.
  16. Rama 605:1 emphasizes using a white chicken. However, the Mishna Brurah 605:4 quotes the achronim who say that one should not make a special effort to get white chickens. Natai Gavriel 10:9 agrees and adds that one should be sure not to use a black chicken.
  17. Natai Gavriel 10:11
  18. Mishna Brurah 605:3 writes that when circling the chicken around one's head one should say זה חליפתי תמורתי כפרתי
  19. Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 76)
  20. Rama 605:1. Mishna Brurah 605:5 writes that if the poor person will be embarrassed to take the chicken because it looks like one put their sins on the chicken then one should redeem it and give the money to the poor but if the poor won't be embarrassed it's preferable to give the chicken to the poor because it requires less effort for the poor person to benefit.
  21. Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 78), Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim pg 227)
  22. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S"A 605:18)
  23. Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 78), Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim pg 227)
  24. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S"A 605:17)
  25. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S"A 605:17)
  26. S"A 606:1 writes that Yom kippur doesn't atone for sins between man and his fellow until one appeases his friend. Mishna Brurah 606:1 explains that during the entire year if one offended one's friend one must appease him, however, if one was unable to do so then one may wait until tomorrow, however, the day before Yom Kippur one must fix everything in order to be cleansed of all one's sins.
  27. Mishna Brurah 606:1, Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 78), Chazon Ovadyah (pg 240)
  28. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S"A 606:11)
  29. Rama 606:1, Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 80), Chazon Ovadyah (pg 243)
  30. Mishna Brurah 606:8 quoting the gemara Rosh Hashana 17a
  31. Rama 606:1
  32. Mishna Brurah 606:9
  33. Rama 606:1, Mishna Brurah 606:11
  34. Chazon Ovadyah (pg 243)
  35. Shalmei Moad (pg 56) quotes Rav Yisrael Slanater who says that if one spoke Lashon Hara baout one's fellow and he doens't know about it that one should just ask forgiveness in a general way, while the Chafetz Chaim 4:12 argues that one must specify that one spoke Lashon Hara. Yalkut Yosef 606:16 rules like Rav Yisrael Slanater
  36. S"A 606:4, Mishna Brurhah 606:17-8
  37. Yalkut Yosef 606:4(1)
  38. Mishna Brurah 606:21
  39. S"A 606:4
  40. Rama 606:4, Mishna Brurah 606:22
  41. Yalkut Yosef 606:4(2)
  42. Mishna Brurah 429:2
  43. BeYitzchak Yikra on S”A 306:12 because it’s a need for the congregation even though one usually can’t do Hatarat Nedarim on Shabbat (S”A 341:1).
  44. S”A 620:1 writes one should minimize piyutim and selichot in order to finish Mussaf by the end of the seventh hour. Even though some achronim explain S”A simply that one should start Mussaf by the beginning of the seventh hour (midday), many achronim say that the term S”A used wasn’t precise and really he means the time of mincha which is six and a half hours. That is the opinion of Mishna Brurah 620:2 and Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 104). Mishna Brurah 620:1 says that if it is the end of the sixth hour one may skip Avinu Malkenu in order to say Mussaf by the end of the seventh hour.
  45. Mishna Brurah 620:2 rules like the opinion of the Ri quoted by S”A 286:4 (see Mussaf page for lengthy explanation).
  46. Kaf HaChaim 620:1
  47. Kaf HaChaim 620:1
  48. Kaf HaChaim 620:2
  49. Kaf HaChaim 620:3
  50. Kaf HaChaim 620:4
  51. Mishna Brurah 620:3
  52. See Kaf HaChaim 620:5