The day before Yom Kippur – this Tuesday is considered to be a quasi holy day.
It is important to attend Selichot at 6.00 am and hatarat nedarim at 7.15 am and again after mincha at 2.00 pm.
It is a mitzvah from the Torah to eat and drink on Erev Yom Kippur. This both gives us strength for the fast and substitutes for the usual Yom Tov meals, which cannot be eaten on Yom Kippur because of the fast. Ideally two meals should be eaten with bread. One must eat at least the seuda Hamafseket after Mincha before the fast starts, it should be a lavish Yom-Tov style meal with two challot on the table. One should refrain from eating nuts at this Seuda (particularly almonds). We don’t eat foods with garlic, nor do we eat dairy products.. It is good to eat fish or anything you like that is easy to digest but nothing pepper hot. One may not fast on Erev Kippur.
Sins committed against another person cannot be atoned for until one has first sought forgiveness from the person he/she has wronged. Even the great day of Yom Kippur or death cannot atone for sins against fellow people. A person should contact friends, family, associates and any person whom one may have somehow wronged or spoken ill of in the past year and ask forgiveness. Financial amends must also be made for loss. Any stolen objects must be returned to their rightful owners. Any person you have gossiped bad about, should be asked for their forgiveness.
It is a minhag for men (not boys) to immerse in a mikvah (ritual bath) on Erev Yom Kippur without a bracha. This is for purity and symbolizes a person’s rebirth associated with the doing of Teshuvah – return to Hashem.
Kapparot – An ancient and mystical custom designed to imbue people with a feeling that their very lives are at stake as the holy Yom Kippur approaches. The kapparot ceremony symbolizes our sins crying out for atonement.
It is customary to give charity as kapparot on Erev Yom Kippur. Charity helps to repeal any evil decrees and acts as a reminder that our good deeds, charity and repentance can save us from the penalty our many sins deserve. The money is taken and waved around one’s head while reciting prescribed verses which can be found in the Yom Kippur machzor (special prayer book) and then given to charity before Yom Kippur.
Checks can be made out to CEA Charity Fund or a donation to the Rabbi’s Charity Fund may be made through our webpage.
Viduy - confession, is recited at mincha, the afternoon service, during the silent Amidah in case a person should choke and die during his pre-Yom Kippur meal.
It is customary to wear white on Yom Kippur. This is symbolic of the angels and of spiritual purity. Males should wear a tallit (prayer shawl) for Kol Nidre and for the entire evening service, and is left unfolded at the synagogue to be donned again the next morning.