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Together with Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur forms the ten-day period known as the Days of Awe or Ten Days of Repentance. While God passes judgment on Rosh Hashanah, the Book of Life and the Book of Death will remain open during the 10 day period leading up to Yom Kippur, during this time is it customary to say ‘chatima tovah,’ meaning ‘good sealing’ as Yom Kippur allows the Jewish people the opportunity to change which book they are in before they are sealed on the tenth day. This Friday, October 3rd, will mark the beginning of Yom Kippur, and the last chance for the Jewish people to change their fates for the following year. The focus of this holyday is on repentance and final atonement before God. As part of this atonement, Jewish adults who are physically able are required to fast for the entire day (though not all Jewish people observe this ritual). It is common for those who practice Judaism to then attend prayer services for most of the day. The High Holy Days, however, first begin with the celebrating of Rosh Hashanah, also referred to as the Jewish New Year. It is observed for two days and marks the anniversary of the creation of the world as described in the Torah, during this time it is customary to greet people with an ‘l’shanah tovah,’ or ‘good new year.’

For more information on the Jewish High Holy Days click on the link here: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/high-holy-days-2014