Rabbi Yoel Gold told Newsmax Friday that the upcoming Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur may be called the Day of Atonement, but that doesn't mean it's shrouded in gloom and sadness.
"You introduced the segment as Yom Kippur being the holiest day of the year, and if I can just surprise you and your viewers: The Talmud — our oral tradition — also teaches that Yom Kippur is not just the holiest day of the year, but it's also the happiest day of the year," Gold said during an appearance on Newsmax's "The Chris Salcedo Show."
"It's the happiest day in the Jewish calendar. In fact, with sunset Sunday night, we will be reciting a blessing, a Jewish blessing, that is reserved for happy times and special occasions."
"The question begs: Why is this considered the happiest day of the year?" he continued. "We don't eat or drink and we don't wear leather shoes and still, it's the happiest day.
"If I can just use a political analogy for a moment, if you remember in 2018 when President Trump passed the First Step Act and was giving prisoners who are incarcerated for longer sentences than they should have a second chance, many of the prisoners and many of the family members called it the happiest day of their life because they were given a second chance."
Similarly, Gold said that Yom Kippur is "a day where God tells us you get a second chance."
"You can make amends ... and just because we made a mistake, we messed up, doesn't mean that we are messed up," he added.
According to Chabad.org, Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year and the day when Jewish people are closest to God and to the essence of their souls.
Yom Kippur means "Day of Atonement," because, as Leviticus 16:30 states, "For on this day He will forgive you, to purify you, that you be cleansed from all your sins before God."
The Jewish high holy day will begin several minutes before sunset on Sunday and end after nightfall on Sept. 25. In the Jewish calendar, it falls on the 10th day of the month of Tishrei and follows Rosh Hashana, or the Jewish New Year.
For nearly 26 hours, Jewish people "afflict" their souls by abstaining from food or drink, not washing or applying lotions or creams, not wearing leather footwear, and abstaining from marital sexual relations. The day is instead spent in synagogue, praying for forgiveness from God.
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