Why do we sing during Yom Kippur Confessional Prayers?

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By Rabbi Ari Enkin, rabbinic director, United with Israel

Yes, we have to feel remorse, and yes, it may very well be appropriate on an individual level to be moved to tears, but on the whole, our sages teach us that the confessional is actually a time to be happy.

Yom Kippur is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. It is the one day a year that God puts aside to grant us atonement and forgive us for all our sins and misdeeds. In fact, for that reason, it is also one of the happiest days of the year!

Virtually the entire day is spent in prayer. There are many laws that are observed; as is well-known, there is no eating or drinking for more than 24 hours.

Among the many laws related to Yom Kippur is the somewhat cryptic comment in the Code of Jewish Law that says: “A person should not deviate from any of the established customs of the city, including the tunes that are used for the prayers.”


Wow! Can you imagine? We are not allowed to deviate from our customs and traditions…right down to the very last detail regarding the tunes that are used to recite the prayers! Why are even the tunes so important to maintain?

Read Entire Story in United For Israel

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