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What is Yom Kippur?

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the culmination of a 40-day-long process of teshuvah—shedding the dysfunctional patterns in our lives, making amends for our actions, and returning to the essence of ourselves. On Yom Kippur, we traditionally abstain from five things: food, drink, sex, bathing, and wearing leather. This self denial is both to emulate the angels through temporarily escaping our corporeality and to serve as a rehearsal for our deaths by forcing us to confront our own mortality. These powerful rituals inspire us to enter the new year reinvigorated and urge us to make the best out of our one wild and precious life.