Published On: Sat, Oct 5th, 2019

Yom Kippur greetings 2019: How do you wish someone a Happy Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar when observers spend a day fasting in solemn atonement. In 2019 Yom Kippur takes place in the Jewish Year 5780, from sunset on October 8 to nightfall on October 9. Those who choose to celebrate will do so with several time-honoured traditions and greetings.

How do you celebrate Yom Kippur?

Yom Kippur is not “celebrated” in the traditional sense but required for practitioners of the Jewish faith.

The holiday comes after Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, and is meant to prepare practitioners for the year ahead.

Yom Kippur is set aside for atonement and is described as “Shabbat shabbaton”, meaning the shabbat of solemn rest.

READ MORE: Rosh Hashanah greetings: How to wish someone a happy Rosh Hashanah

Observers will use the time to take stock of their lives, apologise for their wrongdoings to friends and families, and take steps towards self-growth in the year ahead.

People are prohibited from the following five actions during Yom Kippur:

– Eating or drinking

– Bathing

– Sexual relations

– Wearing leather shoes

– Anointing the body with oil

READ MORE: Yom Kippur 2019: When is Yom Kippur? How is Yom Kippur celebrated?

How do you wish someone a happy Yom Kippur?

Unlike Christmas, “happy Yom Kippur” is not a traditional greeting.

The proper greeting during Yom Kippur is “G’mar Hatima Tova”, which translates from Hebrew to “may you be sealed in the Book of Life.”

The greeting can be shortened to “G’mar Tov” where appropriate.

READ MORE: Sukkot 2018: What is a Sukkah? How do you build one?

Observers believe the book of life – which seals people’s fates for the year – is opened during Rosh Hashanah and sealed at the end of Yom Kippur.

The best English greeting for Yom Kippur observers is “have a meaningful fast” before Yom Kippur commences.

For people who are not fasting during Yom Kippur, both “Good Yuntif” or “yom tov” are also acceptable.

Good Yuntif and yom tov are Yiddish and Hebrew for “have a good holy day”.

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