Yom Kippur is, in short, the holiest day of the year in Jewish religion and culture. It is also referred to as the “Day of Atonement,” and the tradition is to solemnly fast for repentance and atonement of sins.
Yom Kippur marks the end of the annual High Holy Day period (Sept. 16 to Sept. 26 in 2012), which begins with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. On Sept. 25, observation will begin at sunset.
Beth Jacob Congregation, Mendota Heights's 400-household synagogue, will be holding services for both Yom Kippur and Kol Nidrei—the holiday held the night before.
For details, check Mendota Heights Patch's roundup of High Holy Day services.
Yom Kippur falls annually on the 10th day of Tishrei, a month on the Hebrew calendar, which is nine days after the first day of Rosh Hashanah.
To observe Yom Kippur, one should eat and drink festively the day before—once early in the day and once later, before Kol Nidrei synagogue services. Then, for almost 25 hours, the day is spent in the synagogue without eating, drinking and other restrictions.
To observe the High Holy Days and holiday period before Kol Nidrei and after the Yom Kippur fast, many Jewish specialties are made. But there are a few staples that usually make their way onto the table. Try a honey cake, noodle kugel or brisket.