Yom Kippur – The Day of Atonement

Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement, 10th day, Seventh Month, Tishrei, holiday, Yom Ha-Kipurim, fasting, prayer, Yehovah, atone for our sins, afflict your souls, Work is Forbidden, Leviticus 16:1-34, Leviticus 23:26-32, Numbers 29:7-11, Leviticus 25:8-10, Jubilee year, Exodus 30:1-10On the 10th day of the Seventh Month (Tishrei) is the holiday known as Yom Ha-Kipurim (or Yom Kippur), "The Day of Atonement". This is a day dedicated to fasting and prayer on which we ask Yehovah to atone for our sins.

"Ye shall afflict your souls"

On this holiday the Torah commands us to "afflict our souls ('INuI NeFeSH)" as we read:

  • "And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourns among you... It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever." (Leviticus 16:29, 31)
  • "Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto Yehovah... For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people... It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath." (Leviticus 23:27, 29, 32)
  • "And ye shall have on the tenth day of this seventh month an holy convocation; and ye shall afflict your souls: ye shall not do any work therein:" (Numbers 29:7)

To "afflict the soul" means to fast

In Biblical Hebrew the expression "to afflict your souls" means "to fast" (Tzom). The Hebrew phrase 'INuI NeFeSH translated as "afflicting the soul", also appears in a number of Biblical passages, from which it is clear that this expression signifies fasting:

  • "...I afflicted (KJV: "humbled") my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom." -Psalms 35:13
  • "Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance." -Ezra 8:21
  • "Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and you see not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and you take no notice?..." -Isaiah 58:3; see also verses 5 & 10

"Soul" Means "appetite"

It should be pointed out that one of the meanings of the word "NeFeSH", commonly translated as "soul", is in fact "appetite". For example:

  • "And put a knife to your throat, if you be a man given to appetite (NeFeSH)." (Proverbs 23:2-3)
  • " For he satisfies the longing soul (NeFeSH), and fills the hungry soul (NeFeSH) with goodness." (Psalms 107:9)
  • "The full soul (NeFeSH) loathes a honeycomb; but to the hungry soul (NeFeSH) every bitter thing is sweet." (Proverbs 27:7)
  • "Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never satisfy their souls (NeFeSH) (KJV: "have enough")" (Isaiah 56:11)

Therefore the expression "to afflict your NeFeSH" is more accurately translated as "to afflict your appetite", hence the meaning "to fast". [Linguistic note: NeFeSH has the literal meaning of "throat" as in the verse "Save me, O God; for the waters have reached [as high as] my throat (NeFeSH)" (Psalms 69:2) and thus by extension came to signify: breath, life, appetite, etc.]

What is involved in a fast?

In the Tanach to fast means to refrain from eating or drinking throughout the entire period of the fast (Esther 4:16). In Biblical Times a fast also included the following elements:

  • Crying (i.e. intense prayer), see Ps 69:11; Joel 2:12
  • Donning sackcloth and putting dust or ashes on the head (a sign or mourning), see Daniel 9:3; Nehemiah 9:1
  • Prayer and Repentance, see Esther 9:31; Nehemiah 1:14; Isaiah 58

Work is Forbidden on Yom Kippur

In addition to the above aspects of fasting, work of any form is forbidden on the Day of Atonement, as is having a fire burning and cooking food. While many holidays are described as a "Shabbaton" (rest-time), Yom Ha-Kipurim is described as a Shabbat-Shabbaton (Sabath of rest-time) and all things forbidden on the Sabbath are also forbidden on Yom Ha-Kipurim.

Fasting and Charity

We can learn much about what to do and what not to do on a fast day from Isaiah 58, which describes "an acceptable [fast] day to Yehovah". In this Biblical passage we are told that fasting must be accompanied by righteous action and that the fast and prayer of a person who oppresses or neglects the poor and hungry shall not be received.

  • "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and you see not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and you take no notice? Behold, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and exact all your labors. Behold, you fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: you shall not fast as you do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to Yehovah? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to deal your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast out to your house? when you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall your light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and your righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of Yehovah shall be your reward. Then shall you call, and Yehovah shall answer; you shall cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If you take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall your light rise in obscurity, and your darkness be as the noon day: And Yehovah shall guide thee continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and make fat your bones: and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in." (Isaiah 58:1-12)

Fasting and Repentance

In Joel 2 we are taught that fasting must be accompanied with genuine repentance:

  • "Therefore also now, says Yehovah, turn you even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto Yehovah your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repents him of the evil. Who knows if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto Yehovah your God?" Joel 2:12-14


The Rabbis have a custom of not wearing leather shoes on fast days. This is based on Ezezkiel 24:17 which indicates that there was an ancient custom for mourners to remove their shoes as a sign of their mourning when someone died. This apparently refers to all shoes, and not just leather shoes. However, this was a mourning custom and there is no indication that this was done on fast days and it is certainly not a requirement.

Biblical Passages which mention The Day of Atonement

  • Leviticus 16:1-34
  • Leviticus 23:26-32
  • Numbers 29:7-11
  • Leviticus 25:8-10 (Jubilee year)
  • Exodus 30:1-10 (especially verse 10)
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  • Graham says:

    Was Yom Kippur an instruction/command to males in the household or to ‘all’ inhabitants of the family home?

  • Lisa says:

    please help me figure when Yom Kippur will be in 2023?

  • Shun Wells says:

    The truth never gets old.

    Thank you Nehemiah for all that you do.

    The pearl I found in this article is “Leviticus 25:8-10 (Jubilee year)”. It’s hard to put in words the understanding I got concerning the day of atonement, the feast of trumpets, and the hope of being at one with God when the Messiah comes in power and glory to establish His kingdom on earth.

    I have a new love for this day of affliction.

    Thank you again Nehemiah, and blessed be Yehovah for guiding me to you.

  • Salva says:

    Thank you so much, Adonay bless you.

  • adombom says:

    I believe in the passage Nehemiah quoted: “And put a knife to your throat, if you be a man given to appetite (NeFeSH).” (Proverbs 23:2-3) has nothing to do with eating and in a sense, is a cautionary proverb, and refers to the desires (appetite) of the flesh. Not to be lulled into a situation where you are careless (complacency), drop your guard, and forget who you are dealing with. As if thinking the ruler wants to be my friend and I can say what I REALLY think, which in those days might get you thrown into the dungeon or killed. (Vs.2) says in Hebrew: and put a knife to your throat IF YOU ARE MASTER OF YOUR SOUL). Vs.3: do not lust for his delicacies, for it is deceitful bread.

    This throws a different light on the meaning to me.

  • J.W. Brakebill says:

    Thank you Nehemia,

    I’ve read this article before. I enjoy your podcasts, but I honestly believe I like these written articles more. When listening to podcasts it’s easy to miss a point, and sometimes difficult to locate again. When reading, just reread the previous paragraphs. lol

    Sincerely though, thank you for sharing your storehouse of in-depth knowledge with the rest of us.

    I do have a question though. In your podcast on misc Vatican files, you mentioned finding a book of Matthew in Hebrew, and a partial book of John in Hebrew, on micro film. What was the Hebrew NAME used for “Jesus,” when translated to English? Since neither Hebrew, nor Koine Greek, has a letter for “J”, I seriously doubt that He was EVER called Jesus when on this earth. So what did Matthew & John refer to Him as, by name, in the Hebrew texts? Thanks.

    • Nick Tarnowski says:


    • Lucid Annie says:

      Yeshua short for Yehoshua, or Joshua

    • donald murphy says:

      thank u for your posting. I have asked that question quite often. plus I do not believe JC ever existed. Dt. 4:2 being the main reason.

      Donald Murphy.

      • Joseph McDonald says:

        Yeshua (Jesus) never added to the Words of the Creator, nor did he take from them.

        It may seem this way when one looks at the modern Christian or listens to their blasphemy.

        On the contrary, Yeshua (AND Shaul (paul)) constantly quoted and called disciples BACK to Torah. Not once did anyone declare the old covenant null, either man nor God, and the gymnastics required to do so are hilariously ridiculous when considered honestly.

        Look again… He lives this day.

        Shalom brother.

  • James Douglas says:

    Thank you Nehemia. This will be my first Yom Ha-Kipurim and knowing is expected of me is a true blessing. Shalom brother

  • Se eu te esquecer Yerushaláym says:


  • Randy and Yuko says:

    Nehemia, Could you please clarify why you say “having a fire burning” is prohibited on Yom Kippur?

    • Jeremy Daniel says:

      Wait so having a fire burning prohibited? How are we to make an offering by fire to Yehovah?

      • JW Brakebill says:


        Lev 23:27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
        Lev 23:28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.
        Lev 23:29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.
        Lev 23:30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
        Lev 23:31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
        Lev 23:32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.

        Verse 23:32 identifies Day of Atonement as being a Sabbath, as the regulations of the command seem much the same, i.e., no work, holy convocation, etc… Now:

        Exo_35:3 Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.

        I too have often wondered how Israel could offer offerings by fire on the Sabbath without being in contradiction.

        I see three possibilities, there may be more.

        One, the word kindle. The old fashioned way of rubbing sticks together or striking a flint, “could” be considered work, even causing sweat.

        Two, the word habitations. Kindling a fire in one’s habitation, may have been different from the priesthood offering sacrifices, especially at Temple services. I have no way of knowing.

        #3, Feeding an existing fire may be different than kindling. Seems to me that Yehovah would expect humans to feed a fire in their habitations on a cold winter’s Sabbath day, That would seem to be – common sense.

        • Jerome Torah says:

          12The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it. 13The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.

      • Jerome Torah says:

        pls read these test and you will understand clearly about the Alter of Sacrifice/burnt offerings.
        12The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it. 13The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.

    • Jerome Torah says:

      levitcus 6:12-13

  • cheryl says:

    Isn’t YK more about afflicting your souls more than fasting, in order to afflict our souls we should forget about ANYTHING & EVERYTHING else, food, tv, video games, computer, etc., and focus on our weaknesses, the things we have done, and the things we will do, really look inside ourselves. I think that is where fasting comes in, put your physical body aside & focus on your spiritual being. On that day take care of the poor & the hungry, put yourself aside & focus on someone else & their needs.
    As for the calendar, we should focus on what YEHOVAH says ONLY! As for the sighting of the renewed moon, I have found that going by the sighting in Israel, is the least complicated, we tried going by the sighting here in the states, we gathered as a group online, but the problem was that in one state they might sight the renewed moon, but in another state they did not, so when the FEASTS DAYS came around, everyone was celebrating on a different day, I don’t think that is what YEHOVAH wants us to do, HE laid out an APPOINTED time schedule, and we need to FOLLOW HIM & what HE says, nobody else, isn’t that why we got into this walk in the 1st place, was to find TRUTH & how HE really said for us to live? All those different churches out there, one believes this way, another believes another way, let’s stop being confused, and get on track with YEHOVAH, no stress, no confusion! I LOVE WALKING WITH HIM! BLESSINGS Nehemiah, I Love the work you are doing!

    • J.W. Brakebill says:

      I too have considered this “sighting” of the new moon. I also seek 100% TRUTH, so I discard what I see as errors.

      Problem I have is this. I have NEVER found in scriptures, any command to see the moon before believing it has occurred. THAT, from everything i have read, is based on rabbinic TRADITION, especially from the days of the Sanhedrin, when the Court would sanctify the new moon based upon the testimony of two or three witnesses. (Probably being rebelliousness on my part,) but I get suspicious whenever MAN, ANY MAN, decides HE MUST control everybody else, or tell everybody else what to believe. So my mind “questions” this “sighting” issue.

      The ancients were NOT IGNORANT, especially when it came to astrology. Common sense says that the “new moon” will occur about 14 1/4 – 14 3/4 days AFTER the FULL Moon. (varies slightly between seasons) THAT “may” be why Passover/Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles/booths/Sukkot both occur 15 days after the new moon, as they would be occurring on FULL MOONS.

      Though the actual new moon usually could not be seen due to sunlight, the actual DAY could be calculated rather accurately, anywhere in the world. Thus I “wonder” if acceptance of the new moon was not based upon FAITH, knowing that it was happening, though one could not see it. Read Deu 32:20, (children in whom is NO faith.)

      Now I will be the 1st to ADMIT that the Jewish people KNOW FAR, FAR more about Yehovah that most of us gentiles will ever dream of knowing. BUT, can Jews make mistakes? Are they not human too? Has not God historically punished them too, for errors made per scriptures? Believers in Yeshua may point out that He openly criticized many Jewish “traditions.”

      I have asked, how in olden times, could Jews living outside Israel, without telecommunication devices, know what day to acknowledge if it depended upon sighting and the Sanhedrin’s sanctification? A GREAT MANY would always be wrong, BUT, IF everybody went by calculations, most everybody on earth would be acknowledging the same day, when based on FAITH and calculations. Where did the “tradition” come from of having to see the new moon to believe it occurred?

      So whether I am rebellious or not, (I HOPE I AM NOT,) but seeking truth, I recognize the dates and times of the new moon as can be found on dozens of astrological websites. I usually use info from Timeanddate.com , but I try to recognize the EXACT info of when the new moon is to occur. I feel one MUST count from these dates, otherwise, EVERY annual holy day or feast in Nisan and Tishrei “may” be being observed on the WRONG day.

      BUT, to be fair, I could be wrong. Wouldn’t be the first time, but Yehovah knows my heart only wants to follow EXACTLY what He says in scriptures.

  • Janice Kohler says:

    Thanks Nehemia for the clarity about having a fire and cooking. I don’t know how I have missed this information on The Wall, especially since it has been posted for so long. I’m bad! Many say that Yehovah would not leave us without a way to warm ourselves on a day that we are suppose to be finding as a “delight”. That same concept points to that this was only mentioned during the time of Tabernacle construction so they would not be tempted to work towards completing tasks for that purpose. Those “many” have most likely just soaked up passed around information??
    Having said all of that…what about pilot lights? Sorry for such a dumb question but I have to live with pilot lights or find another dwelling or perhaps just leave home on the sabbaths? Thank you in advance for your reply and for all you do for finding truth.

    • Irving says:

      Hi, again Nehemia, i have tried in the past to contact you and have you answer this question. WHY DID DAVID TAKE THE head of the giant to Jerusalem after killing him, leaving Sauls army to still fighting, to go at least 3 days to bury it there. WHY go to Jerusalem. 1 Sam.17 vs. 54. Thanks.

      • Neville says:

        Perhaps I have missed something, or misread something, but when I read this story I don’t see anything saying that David buried Goliath’s head. And that makes me wonder if the teraphim that Mikhal places in David’s bed, and which is large enough and head-like enough to make Saul’s men think that it is actually David, might have been Goliath’s head, kept all those years in David’s quarters as a trophy. Just thinking out loud …

  • delialo says:

    Hey Nehemiah I must say first I Love you and agree with most everything. I believe Yahshua was a Karaite calling the people back to Torah and away from the takenot of man. I think the tradition to fast is one of those. I read IS 58 different than you I don’t speak Hebrew and used Strongs to do my study but Torah says afflict, not fast.

    To me IS 58 condemns their fasting as they put on ashes and sackcloth to be seen as righteous by men. He wants people to afflict themselves and help their fellow man the hungry, oppressed etc. Which is truly more difficult? Which is more righteous?

    I think a simple Shepard (like me) hearing it read aloud would not think “fast”.

    • Lucy Hunt says:

      I wouldn’t recommend Strongs as a primary source dictionary for Hebrew translation. I would recommend a Langenscheidt Hebrew English. The translation I have backs up Nehemia’s translation and does mean afflict and to fast.
      Shalom u’vrakhot

  • Ron Colling says:

    I noticed in your article that you used the phrase Yom Ha-Kipurim — יום הכפרים — according to The Text. Why is it known as Yom Kippur? I admit a limited Hebrew knowledge, but is the plural ending showing the quality of the day or that there are multiple atonements (for the priest, his family, the people, the altar, the holy place)?

    • There are three main uses of plural in Biblical Hebrew: 1) Plural of Quantity, 2) Majestic Plural, 3) Abstract Plural. Kippurim is an abstract plural, that is, it uses the plural to express an abstract concept, in this case “atonement”.

      • Ron Colling says:

        Thank you for the quick response. Would you expand on the idea of Abstract Plural? Do you have some other examples you can share?

        • Here is what Gesenius writes in Section 124a: “1. The plural is by no means used in Hebrew solely to express a number of individuals or separate objects, but may also denote them collectively. This use of the plural expresses either (a) a combination of various external constituent parts (plurals of local extension), or (b) a more or less intensive focusing of the characteristics inherent in the idea of the stem (abstract plurals, usually rendered in English by forms in -hood, -ness, -ship). A variety of the plurals described under (b), in which the secondary idea of intensity or of an internal multiplication [p. 397] of the idea of the stem may be clearly seen, is (c) the pluralis excellentiae or pluralis maiestatis.”

  • Henry says:

    When will be yom kippur this year? And is it allowed to fast on sabbath? Thank you

    • J.W. Brakebill says:


      Lev 23:27-32, when speaking of Day of Atonement refers in verse 32 as it being a sabbath.

      So if we are told to fast or afflict ourselves on this day, then logically, it must be okay to fast on this sabbath, right?

  • Kristin says:

    Is there a tradition to wear white on Yom Kipurim? Is that scriptural and something we should do?

  • Larry Anderson says:

    Thanks for this invaluable lesson. Noticed that a mikva (unless I missed it) is not a part of the days duties. Since I started to observe YK, the fasting and repentance are now down pat. Need a good plan on the burnt sacrifice. The sackcloth and ashes are proving to be a challenge. The shoes is not an option for me. The scripture references very important. Shalom my friend.

  • Amber says:

    Could you explain verse 4 for me? What does it mean to fast for strife and debate?

  • Marie says:

    Thanks Nehemiah

  • Nehemia. Why do the congregations pray to the East when the East gate would require us to pray to the West. Just curious. Timothy

    • JW Brakebill says:

      Timothy, I always wondered that as well. It seemed to me that both the Tabernacle in the wilderness, and Solomon’s dedication of the Temple, that the congregations were facing WEST, so I always ASSUMED, they were facing the ark or Holy of Holies when facing west. Moses and Aaron camped east of the Tabernacle ,Numbers 3:38, so it seems logical that they guarded the entrance which appears to have been on the east side. In America, Sabbath keeping Christian congregations generally face east when group praying. I have always wondered if they were facing the wrong direction? I believe in 2 Chron 6:34,38 ; 1 Kings 8:28-30, Solomon prayed that Yehovah would hear Israel’s prayers, when they prayed toward His House/Temple, their land, and the city of Jerusalem. I “think” the preachers chose east because the shortest flying distance to Jerusalem is to travel east, or maybe it is related to a pagan custom of facing the sun rising. I know in America most are buried on their backs with their heads to the west, with the belief that in the resurrection, they will sit up facing EAST. I think that may be pagan traditions trying to link “Easter” Sunday sunrise services, where pagans linked the sun rising to the Son Rising. Would REALLY appreciate it if Nehemia would chime in on this topic. Which direction did the peoples face when praying to be facing the ark and/or Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle or later, in the Temple, of God?”

      • Observant Reader says:

        I can’t answer for anyone else, but I generally pray while facing “somewhat Northeast,” here in Coastal Texas, based on Melek Sh’lomo’s edict (as per your citations) and the following confirmation from YHVH in his dream). I chose my direction, after careful prayer and a bit of research, by finding the “great circle path” (i.e. “the shortest distance between 2 points on the outside of a [planet], while travelling across the surface of said [planet],” or in simpler terms “hold a string on a globe with one end where you are and the other where you want to be; pull the string tight & voila, there’s your great-circle path”) from here to Yisrael.

        During my planned trip to Yisrael circa this upcoming Pesach, I intend to mostly pray while facing towards Temple Mount (whenever I don’t get confused & face the wrong way).
        – – – – –
        With that said, there are times when I pray facing a “random” direction, due to lack of knowledge/ability, or to avoid praying while facing towards something unfortunate that’s immediately between me & Yisrael (i.e. I won’t face East to pray if I’m standing to the west of an idol-worshipper’s statue of (one of) their pagan diety(s)). I believe that praying while facing in “whatever direction is convenient/available” is generally acceptable, based on the account of Melek Hizqiahu praying while “facing the wall” on his death bed (2 Kings 20:20 & Isa. 38:20) to pray to YHVH, who accepted his prayer and granted his request; thus implying (by my limited understanding) that the direction you’re facing is at least of far less importance than who you are praying to.

  • Thank you YAHOVAH for your servents who speak YOUR Truth

  • Thanks Nehemia, for providing these forums that are so friendly to all of us “quasi-karaites”!

  • Short term light fasts such as Yom Kippur are one of the best ways to overcome illness, and Yah’s mercy and favor usually more than compensates for the temporary and light affliction of the day. And despite your protest, this looks very much like an excuse for failure. A friend just died during the feast, who came to be very much into making excuses to not keep the days holy. Let all beware.

  • Thank you for this article, Nehemia. It is very clear and concise, and it really separates out the truth from tradition. Shalom from Ireland!

  • Shalom, I really learn much from your knowledgable insight. I also feel there is more than just fasting. No T.V., computers,phone, anything that I distracts me
    from YEHOVAH. Your thoughts please.

    • You must not add to this instruction, nor diminish therefrom.

      • 76900 says:

        the passage does speak about seeking pleasure on the fast day.

        • JW Brakebill says:

          It may also be wise to consider that, MANY people have their Bibles on computer with E-Sword, as well as use the internet to study Jewish sites and articles / podcasts, from Nehemia, ON THE SABBATH, in an effort to learn more about Yehovah. There is a difference between using the laptop in study and research on Holy Days, AND using it to visit other sites, doing ones own pleasure. I must confess though, that “sometimes,” checking a email or looking up something on line seems so natural, so innocent – though that is probably wrong. Most EVERYTHING has good uses and bad.

  • Larry Sterner says:

    A tip for those who observe Yom Kippur is to leave the salt alone the day before and drink an extra glass or two of water before sunset on the 9th day of the 7th month.

  • travis reed says:

    how do we explain not being able to sacrifice but are able to keep the feast as sign forever? but we cant. the sacrifice is part of the prayer faster and doing no work?

    • Good and blessed day Travis

      You wrote “how do we explain?” when reading your statement it made me think and ask, To who?, To who should we “explain”? or give an accounting of our doings of our individual lives. Who is our “Audience” ? I asked.

      I answered Yehovah is my audience The Most High of Heaven, who was reliably followed by Abraham, Issac, & Jacob.

      So I asked does Yehovah know for fact that I can not today go to the place where He placed His name for ever and the Only place acceptable to Him to accept sin offering? Yes Yehovah knows this fact and understands my position today.

      So I conclude and think we should together place some effort to at the very lest clear the Temple Mount in Jerusalem so that Yehovah may take a accounting of our reliable doings and I trust He will respond in kind.

      May Yehovah turn to you and shine on you when you ask?

      Alberto Trevino

  • Rom says:

    Thanks for the post about the day of atonement . Shalom

  • its great having so many comments so e don’t feel so isolated as so many are scattered That’s a great picture of Nehemiah are you riding your bike on the dusy roads????

  • Tine says:

    When I read in the Tanach about fasting, then I read nothing about exceptions. Especially in relation to Yom Kippur it is said ” whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day”. Now I wonder, what about the sick, pregnant women and nursing mothers? Is somewhere in the Tenach written about whether this should also fast?

    • Bev Lu says:

      My thoughts exactly….

    • JW Brakebill says:

      I’d like to recount a short, but true story. Many years ago when I, from Christianity, observed my first Feast of Unleavened Bread in northern Indiana, I carefully removed everything I could find with any form of leavening from my house. I packed it in boxes and bags and put the food in my Old Bronco 4×4 for the week. With windows up, I don’t doubt the sunny days raised the temps upwards of 95-100 through the week. Yet after the Feast was over, bread that had been frozen was still fresh, as was bread that had not been frozen. Oleo that had bicarbonate soda in it, had not melted. Cereals were still fresh. In short, I do not remember losing anything to mold or staleness, NOTHING. I was AMAZED, and still am to this day some 30 + years later. KNOW that Yehovah can, AND WILL, bless you for your “careful” observance, and will take good care of you for your efforts. Do you think it was easy for Moses to FAST for 40 days and nights, TWICE, IN THE HOT, DESERT WILDERNESS? Or those who believe in Yeshua to have been 40 days.nights without food or water. And didn’t David FAST for a week for his 1st son from Bathsheba? 2 Sam 12:18-23. Yehovah will bless and comfort even the sick and the pregnant, IF one has FAITH., but it’s that doubting that may be a downfall. It”s only 24 hours. May His will be done.

  • I thought Fasting on Yom Kippur was a Rabbinic thing. How can you Fast on a Feast day?

    In Zechariah The LORD seems to discourage annual Fast Days.

    • Check out my study on the Four Fasts of Zechariah. That has nothing to do with Yom Kippur.

    • David Johnson says:

      The English translation of “feast day” does no justice. Feast day in Hebrew would be “chag”. Yom Kippur is never called a “chag” but it is a “moed” which might be better translated as an “appointed time”

  • Does drinking mean water or alcohol? We only have Esther for the drinking and alcohol is prominent in the book.

  • Emma shears says:

    What date is Yom kippur in 2015

    • Devorah Arndt-Daniel says:

      Yom Kippur begins at sunset September 24

      • David says:

        Shalom Devorah (and Nehemia),

        I have been studying recently in regards to the exact day that the High Sabbaths fall on, such as Yom Kippur. It seems that on every corner of the internet someone has one calendar that is at odds with another calendar. There seems to be little agreement on the exact date and some people use a conjunction method of determining the start of the new month (which there even seems to be 2 views in this camp) while others use only the sighted moon method (which again there are different views in this camp and what sighted moon exactly means and where it must be seen).

        My question is how did you come to Yom Kippur being on the start of sunset on the 24th vs say sunset on the 22nd or the 23rd? I have yet to see any clear biblical evidence that the sighted moon method is the correct method to use and I personally have been using the conjunction method to determine the last few High Sabbaths. I am relatively new to following Torah and am just beginning to explore the wealth of knowledge found in the Tanakh and this is something that has troubled me since the Passover and now tonight I find myself dedicating myself to Yehovah through fasting, prayer, and repentance while celebrating Yom Kippur. I came to the 22nd being the start of Yom Kippur based on the conjunction method which placed Yom Teruah on the 14th of September 2015 therefore Yom Kippur would be sunset to sunset of the 22nd to the 23rd and then the beginning of Sukkot would be the sunset to sunset of the 27th to the 28th.

        This makes even more sense for me as the lunar cycle is approx. 29 1/2 days so the full moon should fall on the 15th day of the month which just so happens to be the first day of Sukkot so therefore we should see the full moon that same day. The full moon this month would fall on the 28th (sometime in the early morning before sunrise I believe in Jerusalem).

        I wish to serve Yehovah in honesty to His Word but there is so much division over this is pains me to see it. It causes even my closest of friends to be unsure on which day we are to dedicate to our Lord.

        • Devorah Arndt-Daniel says:

          Here is an article that may help you.

          We, of course, go by the sighted moon. That made September 16 (day) the first day of the 7th month. According to Leviticus 23:27 Yom Kippur would begin at sunset the 24th of Sept to sunset the 25th.

          I hope this helps!

          • David says:

            I did find that very article when reading about the sighted moon method verses conjunction for determining the new month. For what I have studied it just makes more sense for conjunction to be a better method in that we can more precisely determine when the days are and then the signs of the moon will confirm this. I think if the full moon falls on the 27th (early morning 28th in Jerusalem) then that would mark approx the 15th day of the month as the lunar cycle is 29 1/2 days and therefore should coincide with Sukkot.

            With working a full time job in the US it also does add some stress not knowing on which days I can take and set aside and allow my employer to know when I will be taking off, if I were to wait till a sighted moon in Jerusalem (or anywhere in Israel for that matter) then I would have only had a few days to give notice and to me, would cause me to be a poor steward of that job in which I have been given. As always, I guess it is best to deal with this through fear and trembling before Yehovah while studying His Word.

            Thank you so much for your response Devorah. Shalom!

        • Dawn Irion says:

          Shalom David. So glad you are seeking Yehovah and His Torah. I agree the division is painful and I look forward to the day when we all serve Him with one accord!
          One thing that helped me was to think about the Torah from the perspective of a child. If an 8 yr old heard the instructions, what would he/she think? Would a new moon to a child need a calculation or just the seeing of their eyes?
          Many things can affect the sighting of the moon in Israel and Yehovah knew that – that is why He did it that way, so that He would always have total control over time- days, months, years. If we can calculate it, we take Yehovah out of it. It’s not about us being exact – it’s about us waiting for the sign from our Father.
          I sincerely hope this helps!

        • Kevin George says:

          There is no verse in the Bible that says use one calendar and not the other because the rabbinical calendar wasn’t instituted until 359AD. The Talmud dates to around 200AD, and in tractate Rosh Hashana, in the last few pages there are half a dozen references to seeing the new moon. So at that time it was standard practice even among the rabbis to sight it.

        • Jeffrey Crocker says:

          If you can teach me how to find the instant, within a fraction of a second, when the conjunction occurs, I will be very grateful. I was persuaded to go by the conjunction for several years. Eventually I realized that none of the self proclaimed “leaders” using that method could teach me how to find the conjunction myself. We obviously are not to follow a calendar that requires the assistance of the U S Naval Observatory, NASA, etc., etc., The correct calendar is one that any Israeli shepherd in the field thousands of years ago could follow without the use of technology, rabbis or some temple astronomer. Also, we can not by ourselves find the instant that the moon is full…and it is just an instant. The moon does appear to be full for several nights though. It is not scriptural that the calculated instant that the full moon occurs be on the 15th day of the moon.

        • JW Brakebill says:

          I confess, that after 30+years pf studying, I still learn new things most every day. My concern is when there is a command to Blow Trumpets on the FIRST DAY of the month, or new moon, IF waited until the moon is actually sited, which in actuality is the second or third day of the month, then one can’t possibly observe the correct day for Trumpet/shofar blasts, (or shouting,) can they? I tend to wonder if the new moon occurring was intended to be based on FAITH. One usually cannot SEE the new moon because it travels in conjunction with the sun, and the sunlight is too bright for people to see the new moon, or at least that is what I have read. So to me, and I admit, I KNOW NOTHING, I would think that Yehovah would expect His people to count ~14 1/2- 14 3/4 days from the FULL moon to determine which day the new moon was occurring. Take it on FAITH that such was happening whether one could see it or not! Waiting to see it, eliminates any need for faith! Note Deuteronomy 32:20. I doubt that there would be too many months when the EXACT moment fell so very close to sunset that it would be an issue as to which actual day the new moon occurred. The answer might also lie in what the term “new” referred to. Could there be a difference between what we refer to today as a new moon, and what ancients felt was the “NEW moon?” Because when they SAW the first partial crescent that was to them, “new.” I don’t know, but I tend to try to observe based on the day the actual moment of a new moon occurring as being the first day of the month, new moon as based on FAITH.

          • cheryl says:

            renewed moon is a better term, same moon, just another cycle, I get an email from Michael Rood, every month, when the renewed moon is cited in Israel, if everyone went by Israel’s renewed moon, there would be no more confusion, hope this helps.

      • Maria says:

        Dev, would that make the first day of Sukkot on 9/30/15 and the last day and 10/6/15 the last day of Sukkot?

        • Devorah Arndt-Daniel says:

          Yes the last is Oct 6 but then Shimini Atzeret is Oct 7th (the 8th day) …..‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you gather in the fruit of the land, observe the festival of Yehovah for seven days. On the first day is a rest, and on the eighth day a rest.
          Leviticus 23:39

      • Janet Pearce says:

        I am a Christian but am very interested in the Feasts of the Lord as for us they are shadows of what is to be fulfilled. I understand that the new moon was not sighted in Jerusalem until the evening of the 15th. However, it seems that even in Israel and Jerusalem that Yom Kippur was observed from the evening of the 22nd until the evening of the 23rd and that Jewish people almost everywhere in the world are now feasting. I tried to get info from Israel regarding the late sighting of the new moon but no one would reply to me. This is the site that I have heard a Jewish person say that Yom Kippur has not yet taken place.

        • Devorah Arndt-Daniel says:

          Shalom Janet!

          Your question is great and the answer is that these are 2 completely different calendars. The rabbi’s use a calculated calendar and we go by Yehovah’s calendar. Here is an article that will help in your understanding.

          Even the rabbis admit that we will all be using Yehovha’s calendar once the messiah comes.

  • mike says:

    Mr gordon i have been harsh with you on the name issue and have left many nasty comments on your youtube pages im truly sorry and have erased i hope to be all messages from those pages please forgive me and have a blessed life..michael yahuwah

  • Tony Bredenhand says:

    Shalom Nehemia, we have grown up as christians and later we found the hebrew roots of our faith and eventually we have now discovered that this whole jesus/yeshua belief is also not true. We believe that we belong to the lost tribes of Israel.
    We cannot really assosiate ourselves with judaism as we have,nt got peace with the idea of the oral law. We also believe that YHVH has called us back to Israel and we are waiting on Him to open the doors as we do not want to convert to judaism. Could you give us more information on how to get Israeli citizenship?

    regards, Tony

    • Kitty Corbett says:

      Tony, me, too! There is no way to accept oral law which contradicts or pretends equal authority with TANACH. Just keep the Law and I pray YHVH will show us both what to do, and when.

  • Laura Olson says:

    As with all legal extrapolations, I have to point out that God is straightforward and direct in law-giving, unlike people, who use every blurry concept to generate extra divine law. If He wanted fasting the word was there and available. But He didn’t use it. I see that it could be a very viable option to help one afflict one’s soul. But the eagerness people have to go after everything God wants shouldn’t be mined for extra guilt by expanding upon things in Leviticus 23.

    • I got to admit, you may be right. So many of Yah’s commandments leave an “out”. For most though, I suspect fasting will be the most apropriate interpretation. I have seen old , young, babies, sick, medicated, etc fast on YK, and have not seen any die or get worse from fasting.

  • nlsj says:

    At what age would a child be to start fasting?

  • Tricotine says:

    Is it allowed to fast when Yom Kippur falls on Shabbat like this year?

    • Barak Yirok Ben Emet says:

      Yom Kippur is a “Shabbat” every year, but this year it falls on Weekday 2, aka Lunes or Monday.

  • Petra says:

    Shalom Nehemia. A question for you that i have been pondering for a while. If the Torah does not tell us to “to fast” (Tzom) but to do no work, and we have to refer to books written hundreds if not a thousand years later to get a definition of what afflicting one’s soul is, that raises some questions in my mind.
    The obvious one is surely Aveenu Malkaynu would stipulate this quite clearly when ever this was a requirement especially as an instruction that needed to be understood by the multitudes. How do we know that a 1000 years after the Torah was given on HaSinai that the interpretation of what afflicting one’s soul was changed & possibly written into the prophets & writtings? There is no way to know for certain as the Torah does not state we are to fast / Tzom.

    • Rachel says:

      We go with what we know though, right? We follow to the best of our ability. It’s better than just not trying right? Just like our weekly calendar nowadays is pagan, but we have Sabbath on Saurday because it’s all we have to work with at this present time.

  • Christine says:

    When I read in the Tanach about fasting, then I read nothing about exceptions. Especially in relation to Yom Kippur it is said ” whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day”. Now I wonder, what about the sick, pregnant women and nursing mothers? Is somewhere in the Tenach written about whether this should also fast?

  • Cynthia Bishop says:

    Thank You for proclaiming the Truth! Spread it far and wide, to all whom may listen! May God have Mercy on those that are Blind!! Pray for them!

  • Baroness says:

    Baruch Hashem Y’HoVAH Nehemia…A huge Toda Raba for your anointed accurate teaching that leaves everyone else’s in the Dead Sea MUD!

  • King Cush says:

    thanks for this higher learning my karite bro…
    you and the other guy are v entertaining lol

  • Sunset Sunday October 5, 2014 through sunset Monday October 6, 2014. Here is the full list:

  • Yang says:

    And thank you for this information.

  • Mary says:

    Thank you!

    Finding this has been a light in my darkness.

  • Lloyd Brown says:

    Apostle paul also kept Yom Kippur – The Day of Atonement
    but in the book of Acts it is called “the fast” (Acts 27:9)
    νηστείαnēsteia nace-ti’-ah From G3522; abstinence (from lack of food, or voluntary and religious); specifically the fast of the Day of Atonement: – fast (-ing.)

    • Ken says:


    • Paul was not an apostle. Also he never kept Torah – his letters explicitly prove that. The book of acts was written in his defence as part of his “to the Jews I became a Jew” technique to show himself as Torah observing, to catch Jews with guile.

      • Observant Reader says:

        Actually, if you read the “book” of Acts from an objective/academic viewpoint, it becomes painfully obvious that you’re reading not 1, but at minimum 2 seperate written works. One being the proposed “acts of the apostles” for the first several chapters, then the second being more of a “gospel of why we should follow [or even worship] this Saul/Paul character. The writing style abruptly changes, along with the teaching, right around the time his character is introduced into the narrative.

        Now, even assuming the entire narrative is accurate (although obviously edited to merge two diparate works together), Saul (pre-conversion) was a Pharisee (who many claim would now translate as “rabbi”) who then converted & took on the Nom de Plume “Paul,” when he decided to “go gentile” (pagan), and start teaching all who were gullible enough to listen to ignore the Torah of YHVH our master & creator, and instead do whatever makes sense according to “the nature of things” (quoted from his rant about men’s hairstyles), while staying as far from any semblance of torah law as he could convince them to.

        By *any* reading, the Torah is absolutely definite in naming that individual as a “false prophet” (prophet bacause he at least claimed to have performed several miracles) who tried to lead observant yehudim to stop obeying YHVH to “worship other elohim whom you have not know, neither have your fathers known.” Further, the torah instructs DIRECTLY that even if someone doing such deeds is your nearest relation, or even “the wife of your bosom,” it is the duty of any Torah-obedient follower of YHVH who witnesses such treachery to execute the culprit without mercy. … Too bad for the sakes of the billions who have been misled that none of the Yehudim who tried to fulfill this Torah edict were successful in ending his blasphemy!

        • J.W. Brakebill says:

          Observant reader,

          I think you may have missed something in your studies.

          Galatians 2:14 from the English Standard:

          “But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?””

          Herein lies the VERY GOAL to the gentiles(pagans,) that has been overlooked even by Christianity. The GOAL was to TEACH, instruct, force – the Gentiles to LIVE LIKE JEWS. But, because the Jews had rejected God’s replacement of animal sacrifices for sin, with the blood of His Spirit begotten Son, the gentiles were offered salvation, UNDER the VERY SAME GUIDELINES as it was offered to Jews. OBEY Torah / Yehovah’s Voice, PLUS, believe into Yeshua, accepting His blood sacrifice for remission of sins, instead of animals. That is it!

          And for nearly 2,000 years the Jews have not had a Temple, quite probably because God wanted to stop the animal sacrificing for sin. And in all these years the Jews have not realized this simple explanation.

          Christianity is deceived because they generally reject the law. Jews obey Torah, but reject Yeshua’s sacrifice. Rev 12:9 “satan is the deceiver of the whole.entire earth!”

          By the way, (akedah, Abraham-Isaac event, was likely a shadow of what was to come, the Father offering Yeshua as a sacrifice.)

  • KimDaniels says:

    Thank you for sharing. Very informative.

  • Terry Henson says:

    Thank you so very very much for the information and guidance we are receiving at your hand. Shalom