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]
  5. One should only eat light foods so that one shouldn't be stuffed and prideful during prayers of Yom Kippur. [6]
  6. If Erev Yom Kippur is the Yahrzeit (annual remembrance of the day of the death) of one's parents, one should fast but rely on the fast of Yom Kippur. [7]
  7. Someone who can't fast on Yom Kippur (because of serious health issues) should still eat on Erev Yom Kippur. [8]

Pills to ease the fast

  1. It is permissible to take a pill before Yom Kippur which will ease the difficulty of fasting. [9]


  1. There's is no Tachanun on Erev Yom Kippur. [10]


  1. There is an old minhag (tradition) among Sephardim and Ashkenazim [11] 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. [12] If one didn't do it before Yom Kippur one may do it on Hoshana Rabba. [13]

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. [14]
    1. A pregnant woman within 40 days of the pregnancy doesn't need to take a second chicken for Kapparot. [15]
    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. [16]
  2. If one is poor one may use a single chicken for the whole family. [17]
  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. [18]
  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. [19]
  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. [20]
  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. [21]


  1. When one takes the chicken and circles it around one's head one should say זה חליפתי זה תמורתי זה כפרתי. [22] 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. [23]
  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. [24]

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. [25]
  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. [26]
  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). [27]
  4. The dirt should be designated by verbally stating that this dirt is for covering of the blood of the chicken. [28]
  5. Dirt should be place beneath and above the blood of the chicken. [29]

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. [30]
  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. [31]
  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. [32]
  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. [33] If one forgiving Hashem will forgive his sins, however, if a man is stubborn and doesn't forgive Hashem will act accordingly (Chas VeShalom). [34]
  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. [35]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. [36]
  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 [37] 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. [38]
  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. [39]


  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. [40] 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). [41]
  2. Some say that submerging oneself in the mikvah once is sufficient and some say three times. [42]
  3. No bracha is made for this tevilah. [43]
  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. [44] Taking a shower for the length of time it takes for 9 Kav (about 3.3 gallons) to come out is sufficient. [45]

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. [46]

Mincha on Erev Yom Kippur

  1. After Shemona Esreh of Mincha on Erev Yom Kippur one should say Vidduy as printed in the machzor (siddur) before Elokai Netsor and according Sephardim after Yehiyu LeRatzon and before Elokai Netsor. [47]
  2. The Sephardic minhag is to say Avinu Malkenu at mincha before Yom Kippur. [48]

The mitzvah of accepting Yom Kippur early

  1. It is a mitzvah to accept Yom Kippur early in order to add from the week onto Yom Kippur. [49]
  2. It's sufficient to add any amount of time before sunset. However, it's praiseworthy to add 20 or 30 minutes before sunset. (See footnote for background) [50]
  3. Once one accepted Yom Kippur it is forbidden to eat or do any of the 5 prohibited activities of Yom Kippur. [51]

Nighttime prayers of Yom Kippur

  1. If a congregation didn’t say Kol Nidrei until after nightfall of Yom Kippur the congregation may say it. [52]

Yom Kippur morning prayers

  1. It’s preferable to minimize in piyutim and selichot in order to start Mussaf before six and half hours. [53] 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. [54]
  2. Some have the minhag to add Piyutim even during the Brachot Kriyat Shema, however, it’s preferable not to add Piyutim there. [55]
  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. [56]
  4. There’s different minhag as whether to say the first פסוק of Mizmor Shel Yom HaShabbat on Yom Tov and Yom Kippur. [57]
  5. A Talmid Chacham should not separate himself to learn Torah while the congregation is praying or saying selichot. [58]
  6. It’s preferable to say less Piyutim slowly instead of saying many Piyutim quickly. [59]
  7. One should sure to say at least ten Vidduy’s (confessions) on Yom Kippur. [60]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. [61]

100 Brachot

  1. It’s a mitzvah to smell Besamim (nice smelling spices) and make the Bracha on them in order to get 100 Brachot on Yom Kippur. One may make this Bracha several times in the day as long as one had an interruption of thought. [62]

Prohibitions of Yom Kippur

  1. It's forbidden to do any Melacha (lit. work) on Yom Kippur which would be forbidden to do on Shabbat. [63]
  2. Muktzeh (moving certain objects) is prohibited on Yom Kippur to the same extent that on Shabbat Muktzeh is forbidden and not to the same extent it is prohibited on Yom Tov. [64]
  3. One should not prepare food on Yom Kippur for after Yom Kippur. [65]

Eating on Yom Kippur

  1. It is absolutely forbidden to eat or drink any amount of food on Yom Kippur. [66]
  2. Everyone is obligated to fast on Yom Kippur including women who are pregnant or nursing (there is a serious medical concern one should consult one’s Rabbi). [67]
  3. It is permissible to swallow one’s saliva on Yom Kippur. [68]
  4. Someone for whom fasting Yom Kippur involves a serious health concern absolutely must ask a doctor and Rabbi whether he/she should eat on Yom Kippur. If the doctor (and Rabbi) ascertain that a person shouldn’t fast then that person should not fast even if he thinks he doesn’t need to eat. In such a case, one may not be strict upon oneself to fast as we are commanded to live by the Torah and not die by it (Chas VeShalom) and all the ways of the Torah are kind and pleasant. [69]
  5. In cases when one needs to eat on Yom Kippur (see above) one should eat less than a 2/3 of a Kebaytzah and then wait Kedi Achilat Pras (according to some this is 9 minutes) before eating again, and for drinks less than a Meloh Lugmav and wait Kedi Achilat Pras or at least Kedi Shtiyat Reviyit before drinking again. If the doctors assess that this is insufficient (after consultation with the doctor and Rabbi) one may eat as much as needed. [70]
  6. A person who is a Choleh SheEin Bo skana is permissible to take medicine on Yom Kippur if it doesn’t have a good taste. If one needs to have it with liquid one should have mouthwash. [71]
  7. Someone who needs to eat on Yom Kippur (see above) doesn’t need to make Kiddish. [72]
  8. Someone who is suffering from a bad headache may swallow an Asprin capsule alone. [73]

Washing on Yom Kippur

  1. It’s forbidden to wash oneself in hot or cold water and even to stick one’s finger in water on Yom Kippur is forbidden. [74]
  2. If one got dirty it’s permitted to wash that area in order to remove dirt from one’s body. [75]
  3. Upon waking up for Netilat Yadayim one should wash one’s hands three times only up to the knuckles. [76]
  4. If one goes to the bathroom one is allowed to wash one’s hands three times up to the end of the fingers (by the knuckles) [77]
  5. If one walked into a bathroom but didn’t go and didn’t touch a private place one should not wash one’s hand but rather rub them on the wall or something similar unless it bothers his intent in prayers. However, someone wants to wash one’s hands has what to rely on. [78]
  6. Cohanim who are going to do Birkat Cohanim should wash their hands until the end of the hand. [79]However, some say that that the practice is that a cohen just washes until the knuckles. [80]
  7. One may not wash one’s face upon waking up, however, if one’s face became dirty or if there’s guk around one’s eyes one may wet one’s finger and clean in the area which became dirty. [81]
  8. There’s no obligation to wash one’s hand prior to praying unlike the rest of the year. [82]
  9. A bride for the first thirty days after her wedding may wash her face. [83]

Anointing on Yom Kippur

  1. It is forbidden to anoint even a part of one’s body with oil or ointment even if one is only doing so just to remove a bad smell. [84]
  2. It is forbidden to spray oneself with deodorant on Yom Kippur. [85]

Wearing leather shoes

  1. It’s forbidden to wear leather shoes on Yom Kippur. [86]
  2. One should say the Bracha of SheAsah Li Kol Tzarki on Yom Kippur. [87]


  1. There is no Besamim bracha in the Havdalah even if Yom Kippur falls out on Motzei Shabbat. [88]


  1. S"A 604:1, Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S"A 604:1), Maamer Mordechai (Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, English version pg 448, #21)
  2. Rama 604:1
  3. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S"A 604:2), Maamer Mordechai (Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, English version pg 447, #13)
  4. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S"A 604:3), Maamer Mordechai (Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, English version pg 446, #11)
  5. Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 74), Maamer Mordechai (Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, English version pg 447, #15)
  6. Maamer Mordechai (Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, English version pg 446, #11)
  7. Maamer Mordechai (Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, English version pg 447, #17)
  8. Maamer Mordechai (Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, English version pg 447, #16)
  9. Maamer Mordechai (Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, English version pg 448, #20)
  10. S"A 604:2. Kaf HaChaim 604:18 points out that one does say Tachanun at Mincha before Erev Yom Kippur.
  11. 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. Maamer Mordechai (Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, chapter 42:1) agrees.
  12. 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.
  13. Natai Gavriel 10:7
  14. Rama 605:1, Mishna Brurah 605:3, Natai Gavriel 10:2
  15. Natai Gavriel 10:3
  16. Natai Gavriel 10:4
  17. Mishna Brurah 605:3, Natai Gavriel 10:16
  18. Mishna Brurah 605:4, Natai Gavriel 10:17,19
    • Is it proper to do Kapparot with money?
    • Ashkenazim: 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. Similarly, Natai Gavriel 10:17 writes that if one can't get a live animal then one should use money and circle it around one's head say זה חליפתי תמורתי כפרתי and give it to Tzedaka.
    • Hilchot Chag BeChag (Yamim Norayim, Rav Moshe Karp, pg 276-7) acknowledges (and defends) the minhag to do Kapparot with money, but quotes Rav Elyashiv that in Israel one should do it with a chicken even if one's parent's minhag was to do it with money.
    • Sephardim: Maamer Mordechai (Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, 42:2,4,6) holds that the minhag is to use a chicken unless if one doesn't have a chicken, can't find someone who knows how to slaughter the chicken according to halacha, or finds it difficult (or no time) to clean the chicken and salt it, in which cases one may use money for Kaparot. Maaseh Nissim (vol 1, siman 204) agrees. [Yalkut Yosef in his discussion of Kapparot only discusses how to do it with chickens and doesn't even mention how to do it with money.] However, Sh"t Mayim Chaim 2:22 writes that one should avoid doing Kapparot with chickens and only do it with money.
  19. 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.
  20. Natai Gavriel 10:11
  21. Mishna Brurah 605:3 writes that when circling the chicken around one's head one should say זה חליפתי תמורתי כפרתי
  22. Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 76)
  23. 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.
  24. Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 78), Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim pg 227)
  25. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S"A 605:18)
  26. Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 78), Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim pg 227). Halichot Shlomo 3:7 writes that if one wants to do the covering of the blood one should appoint the sochet to do the ritual slaughtering.
  27. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S"A 605:17)
  28. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S"A 605:17)
  29. 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.
  30. Mishna Brurah 606:1, Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 78), Chazon Ovadyah (pg 240)
  31. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S"A 606:11)
  32. Rama 606:1, Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 80), Chazon Ovadyah (pg 243)
  33. Mishna Brurah 606:8 quoting the gemara Rosh Hashana 17a
  34. Rama 606:1
  35. Mishna Brurah 606:9
  36. Rama 606:1, Mishna Brurah 606:11
  37. Chazon Ovadyah (pg 243)
  38. 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
  39. S"A 606:4, Mishna Brurhah 606:17-8
  40. Yalkut Yosef 606:4(1)
  41. Mishna Brurah 606:21
  42. S"A 606:4
  43. Rama 606:4, Mishna Brurah 606:22
  44. Yalkut Yosef 606:4(2) writes that it's the procedure of pouring 9 Kav on oneself can be with hot water and by taking a shower. He also writes that 9 Kav is about 12.5 liters which is 3.3 gallons. On average this should only take a couple of minutes (see here).
  45. Mishna Brurah 429:2
  46. S"A 607:1, Mishna Brurah 607:2, Yalkut Yosef 607:1
  47. Maamer Mordechai (Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, English version pg 453, #44)
  48. Gemara Rosh Hashana 9a learns from Vayikra 23:32 that there is an obligation to add from the weekday onto Yom Kippur called Tosefet Yom Kippur. (This also appears in Yoma 81b). S"A 263:2 brings this as halacha.
    • S"A 271:2 and 608:1 rules that there's no minimum requirement of time one needs to add to Shabbat to fulfill Tosefet Shabbat. 39 Melachos (vol 1, pg 150) rules like S"A that there's no specific minimum time for Tofeset Shabbat. Yalkut Yosef 608:2 rules like S"A.
    • Mishna Brurah 608:2 regarding Yom Kippur references his comments regarding accepting Shabbat early. There Mishna Brurah 271:22 quotes the Rosh who argues that a certain amount of time is needed. [Biur Halacha D"H Ayzo Zman posits that this period of time should be no longer than 3/4 of a mil (which is 13.5 minutes).] The Mishna Brurah 271:23 concludes that in order to fulfill the mitzvah of Tofeset Shabbat (adding onto Shabbat) one should refrain from work 30 or 20 minutes before sunset. See When does Shabbat start?.Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata (new edition, 3:7) rules like S"A but in the footnote (#8) writes that starting 20 or 30 minutes early is praiseworthy.
  49. S"A 608:1, Yalkut Yosef 608:2
  50. 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).
  51. 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.
  52. Mishna Brurah 620:2 rules like the opinion of the Ri quoted by S”A 286:4 (see Mussaf page for lengthy explanation).
  53. Kaf HaChaim 620:1
  54. Kaf HaChaim 620:1
  55. Kaf HaChaim 620:2
  56. Kaf HaChaim 620:3
  57. Kaf HaChaim 620:4
  58. Mishna Brurah 620:3
  59. See Kaf HaChaim 620:5
  60. Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim, pg 283)
  61. S"A 611:2, Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim, pg 282)
  62. S"A 611:2, Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim, pg 282)
  63. S”A 611:2
  64. S”A 216:5
  65. Halichot Shlomo (pg 80), Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim pg 287)
  66. Mishna Brurah 567:13, Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim pg 310)
  67. S”A 618:1, Mishna Brurah 618:5, Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim pg 287-9)
  68. S”A 618:7-8, Mishna Brurah 618:21
  69. Rav Schachter in Halachos of Yamim Noraim (min 5-7)
  70. Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim pg 307)
  71. Rivevot Efraim 6:320. http://www.aish.com/h/hh/yk/guide/Fasting_on_Yom_Kippur.html permits taking any bitter medicine.
  72. S”A 611:1, 613:1
  73. S”A 613:1, Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim pg 311)
  74. S”A 613:2 writes that since washing not for pleasure isn’t forbidden it’s permissible to wash one’s hand upon waking up for Netilat Yadayim. Mishna Brurah 613:3 writes that one may wash one’s hands three times as usual. Natai Gavriel 43:2 says that those who have the practice to wash four time may do even on Yom Kippur.
  75. Natai Gavriel 43:11, Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S”A 613:2), Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim pg 310) based on S”A 613:3
  76. Natai Gavriel 43:10
  77. Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim pg 312)
  78. Natai Gavriel 43:8
  79. Natai Gavriel 43:3-4 based on Mishna Brurah 613:9
  80. Mishna Brurah 613:5
  81. S”A 613:10, Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim pg 312)
  82. S”A 614:1, Mishna Brurah 614:1, Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim pg 313). Natai Gavriel 46:5 writes that this prohibition applies equally to women as men and references Minchat Chinuch 313.
  83. Natai Gavriel 46:2
  84. Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim pg 313)
  85. Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim pg 320)
  86. Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim pg 384)