The Day of Atonement, as Yom Kippur is also known, marks the culmination of the ten holy days when Jews atone for their sins.
The period begins with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, when Jews believe God seals the fate of each person for the year ahead in the Book of Life.
During Yom Kippur, people hope they will have been forgiven by God for their transgressions.
Jewish people mark the day with fasting and prayer to “afflict our souls” and to ask for forgiveness from God.
They must also avoid wearing lotions and leather, washing, having sex or eating and drinking.
Can you drink water while fasting for Yom Kippur?
Drinking water is strictly forbidden during fasting and that includes not swishing water around one’s mouth during teeth brushing.
However, there are exceptions for certain groups considered to be vulnerable.
Pregnant women should not fast while sick people advised to drink or eat by their doctor should follow medical advice.
According to Chanhad.org, “a person who is required to eat or drink due to illness, but afterwards feels strong enough to fast, must resume fasting”.
The website adds: “According to the Torah, one is only “culpable” when eating at least 1.26 ounces3 of food, or drinking at least a cheekful of liquid, within a short period of time.
“If possible, the ill person who must break the fast should eat and drink less than the above mentioned amount at intermittent intervals.”
Elderly people may also be exempted from fasting and avoiding water.
What happens on Yom Kippur?
Yom Kippur takes place on the 10th day of Tishri in the seventh month of Hebrew calendar.
The day is regarded as the “Sabbath of Sabbaths”.
Worshippers will attend the synagogue throughout Yom Kippur.
There are five services in total: Kol Nidrei, Shachrit, Musaf, Mincha and Ne’ilah.
Yom Kippur concludes with the closing prayer, Ne’ila, just before the next sunset arrives.
A Torah verse is then recited before a shofar is blown, signalling the end of the period for another year.
A shofar is a musical horn, typically made a from a ram’s horn, used in Jewish religious services.