Hebrew for Yom Kippur 101

Yom Kippur is the Jewish day of atonement, which usually happens in mid September. It's a day when Jews remember the things they regret doing the past year and pledge to do better in the next year. It's one of the High Holidays, the other one being Rosh Hashanah.

The word Yom Kippur literally means "head of the year." יוֹם כִּיפּוּר (audio)

Let's practice reading Hebrew and learn some stuff! Like how to wish people a happy Jewish New Year in Hebrew, and some of the important words for the holiday.

What do you say to people on Yom Kippur?

On a day like Yom Kippur, the word "happy" just doesn't fit...

  1. The most common: A traditional greeting meaning "a good final seal" referring to the idea that Yom Kippur is your last chance for your deeds to seal you in the "Book of Life" for a good year. גְמַר חַתִימָה טוֹבָה (audio) or g'mar chatimah tovah.
  2. There's still time to wish a happy new year to someone if you haven't: שָׁנָה טוֹבָה (audio) or Shanah tovah.
  3. Another common holiday greeting is chag sameach: חַג שַׂמֵחַ (audio)