Yom Kippur

avodah

avodah n. Hebrew (ah-voh-DAH) Literally, “Divine service.” In the Pirke Avot, it is written that the world stands on three pillars: Torah; gemilut hasadim, acts of kindness toward our fellow man; and avodah, service and worship of God. 2. Avodah A unique part of the Musaf service on Yom Kippur, the Avodah prayers describe the …

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Ashamnu

Ashamnu n. Hebrew (ah-SHAHM-noo) Literally, “we have sinned.” A prayer recited on Yom Kippur. It is customary to tap over the heart with the right hand during the prayer. The Ashamnu is in the form of an acrostic, with a sin listed for each letter of the alphabet. For example, “we abuse, we betray, we …

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Al Het

Al Het n. Hebrew (ahl HATE) A Yom Kippur prayer that asks forgiveness for a multitude of sins committed during the previous year. The congregation says the Al Het aloud as well as silently because Jews are responsible not only for themselves but also for their entire community. It is customary for a Jew to …

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