It was Rabbi Akiva who spoke words of encouragement during those days of despair. He said that God hears every cry of the heart, and when we bring Him a sacrifice of repentance, it is as though we are presenting a sin offering in the Temple.
For the last two thousand years, Jewish people have fasted, prayed and refrained from any form of work during Yom Kippur as they confess their sins and seek atonement. Still to this day, it is the holiest day in the Jewish year.
Yom Kippur takes place ten days after Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year, and just before the Feast of Tabernacles. These three feasts are known today as the Fall feasts because they happen in September or October in the Gregorian calendar.
This year, Yom Kippur starts on the evening of September 27 and ends on September 28.
Although Yom Kippur is a day marked by fasting and affliction of body and soul, it is also a day filled with hope. In the beautiful words of the Midrash Tehillim: "When Jews appear for Divine judgment, the angels say to them: Don't be afraid, the Judge is your Father." Click here
to read more about Jewish feasts and traditions.