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Fascinating Yom Kippur Facts

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Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg ztz”l. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications and is the author of the books, Fascinating Insights and Incredible Insights. His writings inspire people across the spectrum of Jewish observance to live with the vibrancy and beauty of Torah. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes, and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.

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Fascinating Yom Kippur Facts

1) The Yaavatz[1] reports the testimony of a Roman that on Motzai Yom Kippur, the Kohen Gadol didn’t arrive home before Chatzos because of the many people that wanted to kiss his hands before going home.


2) The Yaavetz there also writes that the day following Yom Kippur, the Kohen Gadol would make a big Seuda and invite his friends and relatives. He made it a festive day because he exited in peace from the קודש.


3) The Chassam Sofer[2] tells us that to eat on Yom Kippur for the sake of a Mitzva is permitted if one is able to direct all his thoughts for the honor of Hashem without any intent of having bodily pleasure. Then it is like צורך גבוה, offerings for Hashem just like the Karbonos of the Nesiim… But who can do this besides the גדולי ישראל. For this reason, they ate and drank at the חנוכת בית המקדש, dedication of the Temple in the time of Shlomo Hamelech although it was on Yom Kippur[3] because of the great presence of the Shechina.


4) R’ Yehuda Hachasid[4] writes that Aharon’s face changed to that of the face of a Malach when he entered the Kodesh Hakadashim.[5]


5) The Yalkut Shimoni[6] teaches that in each of the summer months, Hashem wanted to place a Yom Tov for us. Nissan had Pesach, Iyar Pesach Sheini and Sivan Shavuos. In Tamuz, Hashem thought, so to speak, to put a big Yom Tov but once the sin of the עגל, golden calf was committed in this month it was canceled and there was no Yom Tov for Tamuz, Av and Elul. In Tishrei it was all paid back with all its Yomim Tovim. If we didn’t sin with the עגל, Rosh Hashana would be in Tamuz and Yom Kippur on the 10th of Av.[7] The Sefer Zera Beirach[8] tells us that until Matan Torah Hashem judged the world in Tamuz and Av. Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov as well as Shem and Eiver observed Rosh Hashana in Tamuz and Yom Kippur on the 10th of Av.


6) The Sefer Mikri Dardeki[9] informs us that in the future Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur will be in Nissan. Nevertheless, Succos and the Mitzva of Lulav will remain in Tishrei.[10]

[1] Siddur Yaavetz, Seder Avoda Bmikdash. אוצר פלאות התורה, Vayikra, p. 662, footnote 91.

[2] Haftora to Parshas Pikudai s.v. אז יקהל.

[3] Moed Katan 9a. אוצר פלאות התורה, Vayikra, p. 1035. See Rabbeinu Chananel (Moed Katan 9a) who writes שלא נתכוונתם אלא למצוה, their intention was only for a Mitzva.

[4] Sefer Gematriyos, Acharei Mos, 1.

[5] See Vayikra Rabba 21:12, Yerushalmi Yoma, end of 5:3. The Moshav Zekanim (Tzav, s.v. אהרן) says that אהרן is an acronym for אוריאל, הדרניאל, רפאל, נוריאל, the Malachim that serve around the כסא הכבוד. This is to tell us Aharon is beloved like the מלאכי השרת, ministering angels.

[6] Pinchas רמז תשפב, s.v. ביום השמיני עצרת.

[7] Chida in Devarim Achadim, Drush כ to Shabbos Teshuva, p. 385, s.v. והנה.

[8] ח”ג, Vayera, p. 17. He was a student of the Megale Amukos and passed away in 1666.

[9] Emor, אות תשפה. This was authored by R’ Hillel Lichtenstein, a student of the Chassam Sofer, who lived from 1815-1891.

[10] In the future, Rosh Hashana will be in Nissan… Thus, it says בראשון באחד לחדש תקח פר בן בקר, in the first month on the first of the month, you shall take an unblemished bull of the herd (Yechezkal 45:18), which is the Karbon of Rosh Hashana (Ahavas Yehonasan, Haftora to Parshas Hachodesh, s.v. בראשון).

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