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Alte Synagoge in Baden-Baden, Architekt: Ludwig Levy, 1899 erbaut, 1938 zerstört

 

Jom Kippur

 This Day of Atonement is the most important Jewish Day of celebration. It constitutes the end of ten days of penance, which begin with Rosh Hashanah. According to tradition, on this day the Lord passes judgment on humans, and the book of life is closed again. If people become reconciled and amend the wrong, they have done to others, they are acquitted. Yom Kippur is a strict day of fasting. Believers remain in the synagogue all day long. On the eve of Divine Service, the well-known prayer Kol Nidre is chanted by the cantor. “Kol Nidre” means “all the vows”. The prayer says that promises, which have not been kept towards oneself and towards the Lord, are extinguished. On the prior evening, people also pray for their ancestors and light candles for them.

 As on Rosh Hashanah, the synagogue is decorated all in white. At midday, the Book of Jona is read. That prophet (Jonah) preached to the sinful inhabitants of Niniveh, warning them of God’s punishment if they don`t turn away from their evil deeds. As a result, they gave up their sins and were saved. At the end of the Day of Atonement, the enduring sound of the Schofar can be heard in the synagogue.

In the historical context of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Yom Kippur is associated with a war. On the Day of Atonement in 1973 (6th of October), Israel was attacked by Egypt and Syria, since on this day, public life, including the political and military one, was in abeyance.