Yom Kippur is also known as the Day of Atonement and begins tonight at sundown. Members of the Jewish faith will commemorate their holiest day with intense prayer and fasting.
Yom Kippur is not a day to be “celebrated” but is required for Jews to observe each year following Jewish New Year.
The Day of Atonement follows Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, and prepares practitioners for the year ahead.
Yom Kippur is a time for atonement and is described as “Shabbat shabbaton”, meaning the shabbat of solemn rest.
Fasting and prayers are undertaken during the holy day.
Read More: Yom Kippur 2020: Yom Kippur candle lighting prayer in full
Prime Minister Boris Johnson wished Jews G’mar Tovah today in a statement, acknowledging the challenges of commemorating a holy day during a pandemic.
Mr Johnson said on Twitter: #YomKippur this year will be different because of the pandemic, but I would like to extend my very best wishes to all Jews in the UK and across the world. G’mar chatimah tovah.”
Many Jews may be opting to commemorate the holiday at home this year due to the pandemic.
Synagogues often hold huge numbers for prayers during Yom Kippur.
However Jews have been urged to abide by social distancing regulations when observing Yom Kippur.
Some services are able to stream online, meaning observers can take part in prayers from their homes.
Another greeting for the holy day can be to wish someone a good year, which is L’shana tova or shana tova.
However, make sure if you’re sending a greeting to someone observing the holiday you do it at the right time.
Orthodox Jews and many others who observe Yom Kippur avoid using technology during the holiday.
For those wanting to send a message or call for the holiday send it after sundown on Monday, after the fast has been broken.
Rabbi Andrea London of Beth Emet synagogue in Illinois told USA today: “Our lives are in the balance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur depending on how we act.
“The fully righteous are inscribed (in the Book of Life) for the year, the wholly evil are not inscribed and the rest of us need to work to make amends and make sure we have more good deeds than bad, if we want to be sealed for another year of life.”