Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement is one of the appointed feasts from Leviticus 23. Specifically, the word says:
26 The LORD said to Moses, 27 "The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. 28 Do no work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the LORD your God. 29 Anyone who does not deny himself on that day must be cut off from his people. 30 I will destroy from among his people anyone who does any work on that day. 31 You shall do no work at all. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. 32 It is a sabbath of rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your sabbath."
Yom Kippur is primarily celebrated by fasting, so I did a computer fast, while Devin went all out, abstaining from food and drink from sunset the night before to sunset that day. We spent the day reading, painting, and playing games with friends before breaking the fast over a spaghetti dinner. To keep with the "frangrant offering" found in some other passages about this feast, I lit some pineapple scented candles in our apartment. Devin was joyfully amused by my efforts!
Jerusalem takes some unique measures to keep this day set apart. The most obvious of all would be the lack of cars on the streets. No one drives during the time of Yom Kippur, so the roads become quiet, expect for the voices of small children riding bikes around places that normally would be dangerous! It was quite joyful to see so many kids outside playing, and people taking long walks around the neighborhood. And I surely didn't miss the sounds of traffic that are so prevalent in urban life.
Like Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur was not fulfilled when Yeshua walked the earth, and has prophetic meaning for His end time return. Many believe it is symbolic of the final day of judgment. I won't go into all the theories, but I do think its significant to realize Rosh Hashana is the Feast of Trumpets, then follows the Day of Atonement (think trumpet blows, then we're brought into judgment). For those of us who believe, our atonement has already been made through the blood of Yeshua. It is for that reason that we should celebrate this day full of joy and even longing for His return!
"Shana Tova!" Its Rosh Hashana!