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Yom Kippur Halachic Digest 5777

Yom Kippur Halachic Digest 5777








יום הכיפורים ה'תשע"ז


Compiled by Rabbi Yoseph Vigler & Rabbi Mendel Zirkind

For a Printable PDF Version Please Click HERE 


Edited by Rabbi Sholom Zirkind

לעלוי נשמת הרב יצחק בן הרב אליעזר צבי זאב ע"ה צירקינד




  • The best time for kaporos (at least Shchita) is the last third of the night before alos hashachar of Erev Yom Kippur. (2:50 - 5:38am in NYC), the time of Hashem’s חסד ורחמים.

  • However, you may do kaparos any weekday of Aseres Yemei Teshuva. If you missed it, according to some it can still be done on Hoshana Rabba.

  • Some have a custom that males go to Mikvah before doing Kaporos.

  • A rooster should be used for a male and a hen for women. If by mistake a rooster was taken for a women or visa versa, there is no need to redo Kaporos.

  • A pregnant woman needs 3 chickens, 2 females and one male, since it is a ספק what she will give birth to and one chicken can’t be a Kapara for more than one person.

  • If the gender was seen by ultrasound, you still take 3 as they are not fully conclusive.

  • A woman who was told she has twins, should ask a Rov as to the custom.

  • Preferably one should use a white colored chicken, as the possuk says “I will whiten (your sins) like snow”. But if there are no white chickens any color is good, except for black, because black represents stern judgment. If there are only colored chickens readily available, one should not specifically go to get white chickens.

  • One reason for swinging a chicken over the head is that a chicken represents the soul, which is headquartered in the head.  

  • If one cannot do Kaporos on chickens, some opinions hold he could do it with live fish, or with money (and say זה הכסף ילך לצדקה וכו’).    

  • We recite בני אדם three times and at the end of each time we swing the chicken over the head saying "זה חליפתי זה תמורתי זה כפרתי" [women say "זאת"](some do a total of 9 times). The beginning letters of these 3 words spells ח'ת'ך' which is the name of an Angel in charge of life. If one is saying it for someone else (e.g. a child) they should say "זה חליפתך" [for a female "זאת"].

  • When doing Kaporos on someone else preferably do your own first - “let the innocent come and atone for the guilty”.

  • If the chicken is dirty, it should be washed or wrapped with something and one should make sure there is no foul odor, when saying the Pessukim.

  • Preferably the Shchita should be done immediately after doing the Kaporos.       

  • If the שחיטה was not properly done, you have to redo the kapara.

  • If the שחיטה was good but the chicken was found to be treif later you fulfilled your obligation.

  • The mitzvah of covering the blood belongs to the שוחט, but if you want to partake in the mitzvah you can obtain his permission. The bracha is “אקב"ו על כסוי דם בעפר” with a סגול under the beis. The beracha is meant to be said after the שוחט checks his knife after the Shechita.

  • It’s a zechus to donate the value of the Kaporos chicken to Tzedaka (but not to give the actual chicken to a poor person so lest you embarrass him ).

  • Kaporos money used should not be from Ma’aser.



  • From this morning until the end of Tishrei, we do not say Tachanun.

  • We omit מזמור לתודה, למנצח יענך,תפלה לדוד, אבינו מלכנו.

  • After Shacharis, the minhag is to ask the gabbai or Rov for lekach (honey cake) and eat it. The reason is so that if it was decreed on you to have to beg this year, you should be yotzeh begging for the year by begging for lekach now.



  • For averos against one’s fellow man, Yom Kippur does not atone unless you ask forgiveness from the victim directly. Only averos between us and Hashem are forgiven on Yom Kippur.

  • If you haven’t asked for forgiveness you should do it before Yom Kippur.

  • If your friend doesn’t forgive, you should request 3 times (using 3 different approaches).

  • Requesting mechila each time needs to be done in front of three people.

    1. (According to Shulchan Aruch HaRavyou must always have three people (even the first time you ask forgiveness). Others say the you ask once privately, and if he does not forgive you, take 3 people another 3 times).

    2. If the person refuses to forgive, you need not ask again - just proclaim before ten people that you tried to appease him, so that nobody suspects that you never asked forgiveness. If one wronged his teacher, he must ask forgiveness as long as it takes, until he forgives.

  • If it may embarrass the victim, do not specify how you hurt him, only that you wronged him.

  • The one who was wronged should not be cruel about forgiving.

  • If you wronged someone by letting out a bad name about him in public, then strictly speaking the victim need not forgive. However, midas Chassidus is to forgive nonetheless

  • One should ask מחילה from a non-Jew too.



  • It is a Mitzvah to eat on Erev Y”K, extra, (more than the amount of one day).

  • Fasting today is forbidden.

  • Eating today is a mitzvah even for one with a heter to not fast Y”K (unless it’ll make him ill).

  • At meals today, the challah is dipped into honey.

  • We have a meal (with challa) early in the day before Mincha, in addition to Seudah mafsekes

  • At this meal the table should be set as on Shabbos with a tablecloth and round Challos.

  • Some have the custom to wear shabbos clothes for the meal. (or even from the morning).

  • We eat fish & chicken that digest well, not meat. In the first meal it’s a mitzvah to eat fish

  • We eat kreplach (dough with ground chicken - not meat).

  • Men should not eat all day garlic and eggs. Some also include: aged wine and many fruits.

  • Sesame seeds should not be eaten all day.

  • Some hold that dairy products should not be eaten at the Seudah Hamafsekes. Others hold that dairy products or milk should not be eaten or drunk all day (except milk in coffee).

  • At the Seudah HaMafsekes men should not eat spicy foods, or drink intoxicating beverages. Some make sure that the food at this meal is without salt.



  • It is a mitzvah to immerse in the mikvah.

  • We go to mikvah after Chatzos, before Mincha. Some go after the Seudah HaMafsekes. Some go to the mikvah today a number of times (e.g. before Shacharis, before mincha, after the Seudah HaMafsekes), but the minimum is to go at least once.

  • Even young adults from the age of 13 should go to the Mikvah.   

  • One should dip 3 times, but if that is not possible, dipping once is sufficient.

  • If no Kosher mikvah is available, one may dip in a ground swimming pool, but not if it is detached, and the water must be stationary (e.g. not whilst the water is being emptied out).

  • If you are ill and cannot go, some poskim say you may be yotze by showering provided that:

    • You stand under the shower for at least 3 – 4 minutes.

    • The hands should be placed loosely so that the water reaches all over. 

    • The bottom of the feet should be moistened beforehand.

    • There should be no Chatzitzah on the body.

  • Ensure there’s no chatzitzos on the body, preventing mikvah water from reaching all over. Nails should be cut and cleaned (it is best to cut the hand and toe nails on separate days), hair untangled, teeth flossed and the body pre-washed.

  • Where possible, the tevilah of Erev Yom Kippur is for married women too.



  • Mincha should be davened early leaving time to say Al Cheit and have Seuda mafsekes etc.

  • We give extra Tzedaka before Mincha. The Baal Shem Tov would say that from the sound of the ringing of the coins, the klipos, (= the forces of evil,) are dispersed.

  • Minhagim vary if we do malkus and when - before Mikvah or after Mincha

    • Those who have the minhag to get malkus, use a leather belt.

    • Shulchan Aruch says to do it 39 times on the back, (by the right shoulder, then left shoulder, then in the middle lower back, and repeat until finished). The one giving Malkus says “והוא רחום יכפר וגו’ three times, for a total of 39 words, and the one receiving malkus says along with him.. Others says he says אשמנו בגדנו וכו

    • The one receiving malkus bends down on his knees, facing north with his back to south. (Because most sins result from money, and money is associated with the north).

    • Needless to say, the “whipping” is done very lightly.

  • In Mincha, after the first “יהיו לרצון”, say the Vidui whilst bending (like by Modim). We bang on the chest (or heart) at Ashamnu and Al Cheit, and some also bang by סלח לנו מחל לנו כפר לנו.

    • If you forgot vidui you need not repeat mincha, but you can say it even after Mincha.

  • There is neither Tachnun nor Avinu Malkenu after Chazoras HaShatz.


סעודה המפסקת

Seudah Mafsekes is after Mincha.

  • We wash and dip the bread in honey .

  • Fish is not eaten during this meal because it increases zera.

  • It is a Mitzvah to add from chol to kodesh - to accept Yom Kippur a few minutes earlier, and finish a few minutes later. (This applies every Shabbos and Yom Tov).

  • Women usually accept the fast at lichtbentchen so they must remove leather shoes prior

  • If you intend to eat after bentching, it is best to have so in mind (preferably verbalize it) before bentching.


Before the Fast

  • Some immerse again in the mikvah after Seudah haMafsekes so the tevila should be right before Yom Kippur, providing there is sufficient time to do so before Yom kippur.

  • Licht bentchen: We light candles as every Shabbos and Yom Tov.

  • The brochos are להדליק נר של יום הכיפורים and שהחיינו. If no one is staying home after Licht bentchen, either sit by the light of the candles for a while now or, make sure the candles burn until after people come home from shul.

  • Married men light a “lebedike licht”, a 24 hour candle - this, aside from a Yizkor candle for deceased parents. Some light the “lebedike licht” in Shul and the Yizkor candle at home, while others do the opposite.

  • Another 24 hour candle is left burning because after Yom Kippur we can only make havdala on a candle that was lit before Yom Kippur.

  • We wear non-leather shoes.

  • Yom Kippur is a happy Yom Tov. We set a white table cloth just like any Yom Tov.

  • Before Kol Nidrei, bentch your children to be sealed for a good year and to fear G‑d, because (a) the time is holy and (b) their hearts are open now to G‑d, so the bracha will be effective and memorable. Begin with Birchas Kohanim and add wording of your choice. Some use the nusach printed in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch.  



  • Everybody (married according to most minhagim) wears a tallis for Maariv.

  • The bracha on the Tallis should be recited before sunset.

    • Whenever you put on a Tallis (except on Shabbos according to some), you first check that the strings are kosher unless you wore that Tallis earlier today (by Shachris)).

  • Men (except in 1st year of marriage) wear Kittels, to portray angelic purity and lack of sin.

  • If time allows, one should say the Al cheit and vidui at sunset as Yom Kippur begins, before Kol Nidrei. It should be said standing without leaning on anything such that if it were moved, you would fall, and according to the other laws of saying Vidui mentioned earlier. Some say special Tefilos that contain Vidui at this time.

  • According to the Baal Shem Tov’s tradition to say 3 chapters of Tehillim daily starting from the first day of Elul, before Kol Nidrei chapters 115-123 are said.

  • The number of Sifrei Torah taken out before Kol Nidrei varies by custom.

  • It is a big mitzvah to purchase the right to take out the first Sefer Torah at Kol Nidrei.

  • Three people, constituting a Beis Din, stand beside the chazzan as he begins. Everyone (including women) should say it along with the Chazan, loud enough that the people next to you can hear it. One should make sure to understand what he is saying.

  • As the chazzan says שהחיינו, everyone recites it themselves (except ladies or anyone who lit candles and said the bracha earlier) and complete it in time to answer אמן to his bracha.

  • ברוך שם כבוד מלכותו is said aloud through Yom Kippur including kriyas shema al hamitah.

  • One should learn the meaning of the Tefilos of Yom Kippur, particularly the Selichos and Piyutim, and understand them. Accordingly, using an English Machzor is recommended.

  • Whenever the Chazan repeats Vidui, the congregation stands up and say together with him.

  • After maariv, some have the custom to say the first 4 chapters of Tehillim. Some say the whole Tehillim (and repeat the first 4 chapters). Additionally, according to the tradition from the Baal Shem Tov mentioned earlier, before one goes to sleep he says chapters 124-132.

  • It's best that men should not wrap themselves with blankets (and at least not cover their feet) when going to sleep (so as not to warm up the body).

  • The five prohibitions of Yom Kippur are

    • eating & drinking,

    • washing (even just putting a finger in cold water),

    • wearing leather shoes (even if only part of the shoe is leather),

    • marital relations (including the Harchakos),

    • putting on any kind or cream or lotion etc.

  • Even small children do not wear leather shoes, and we do not wash/bathe them.

  • Additionally, anything that is prohibited on Shabbos is prohibited on Yom Kippur.



  • Somedo not say the bracha of שעשה לי כל צרכי in the morning, since we don’t wear leather shoes, (even if one is wearing non-leather shoes). However there are those that do make the Bracha even in the morning, (particularly when wearing non leather shoes).

  • Some omit the bracha entirely. Others recite it at night when putting on leather shoes.

  • Whoever has kavana whilst reciting the beginning of Adon Olam, is guaranteed that his Tefillah is heard, the Satan cannot adversely affect his Tefillos on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, and his enemies fall before him.

  • On a marble or stone floor you cannot bow directly - there should be a separation e.g. paper towels. On a wooden or laminated floor or carpet, bowing directly on the floor is fine.

  • In order to complete the daily requirement of 100 Berachos on Yom Kippur, one should smell בשמים, (one does not repeat the Beracha when smelling again, unless he did not have in mind that he would smell again). The rest one should be יוצא by listening and answering אמן to the berachos of חזרת הש”ץ and the Aliyos.

  • According to the Baal Shem Tov’s tradition (above), after Mussaf one says chapters 133-141.


If One Cannot Fast

  • If you anticipate a shailah about eating on Yom Kippur, don’t leave it for the last moment, as there are many dinim involved.

  • In cases of Pikuach Nefesh, under Rabbinic and medical guidance, you eat and drink in small periodic amounts, (unless Pikuach Nefesh requires one to eat or drink in bigger amounts and more frequently). A Rov should be consulted.

  • When one is required to eat on Yom Kippur for whatever reason,

    • No Kiddush is recited and there is no need to eat challah at all, let alone lechem mishneh - because there never was a takana for these on Yom Kippur. This follows Shulchan Aruch haRav. Others say you should have lechem mishneh. Mateh Efraim says that even so, there is no need to exert oneself to get it. 

    • Before eating bread one must wash hands as is done throughout the year, just like the kohanim wash at duchaning even on Yom Kippur. If one is eating bread less than the the size of an agg, the beracha Al Netilas Yadayim is not said.

    • If you ate enough hamotzi that requires Birkas hamazon, you add "יעלה ויבוא...ביום הכיפורים הזה ביום סליחת העון הזה ביום מקרא קודש הזה". However, if you forgot either, you do not go back as is always the דין in a meal where there is no obligation to have bread davka.

  • Nowadays, children under bar or Bas mitzvah need not fast the entire fast.

    • From age 9 or 10 (depending on their strength), they should try fast partially by postponing mealtime for an hour, and then adding more hours based on their strength.

    • Making children under that age fast at all, when they wish to eat, is an error.

    • Make sure the children make brochos before eating.

  • We do not prepare food for after the fast until the fast is over. Preparing food on Yom Kippur for children or ill people is permissible, unless they could prepare it on their own.



  • All washing is prohibited.

  • Neggel vasser should be up to where the knuckles (3 times on each hand). One should have in mind to wash for the mitzvah and not for enjoyment.

  • If you need to wash out the dirt on your eyes, you may do so if you do so regularly.

  • If a part of your body got dirty and needs to be washed, you may wash (only) there.

  • Kohanim wash the entire hand for duchaning. Some have the minhag that the Kohanim wash the entire hand, even past the fingers, already in the morning.

  • A Kallah within 30 days of the wedding can wash her face and hands. Some say that this permissibility does not apply if the Chosson will not see the Kallah the whole day.

  • When entering the bathroom, the kittel should be removed along with the Tallis (and gartel) as they are both clothing designated for davening only.



  • You may blow Shofar even before צאת הכוכבים. However, since people are used to the Shofar being the signal for the end of the fast, it is better to blow after צאת הכוכבים

  • According to the Baal Shem Tov’s tradition, after Neilah we say the last 9 chapters of Tehillim.

  • We do not remove the tallis for Maariv until after Kiddush Levanah. But you take the Tallis off your head and wear a hat instead, since night is not the time for Tzitzis. Others leave the tallis on the head for Maariv too.

  • If you mistakenly said “המלך הקדוש” or “המלך המשפט”do not go back.

  • If you mistakenly said זכרנו לחיים"”, or any other of the additions of Aseres Yemei teshuva:

    • If you are still in the middle of that bracha, go back to the beginning of that bracha.

    • If you past that bracha, you finish Shmoneh Esrei and when finished, it is proper to repeat Shmoneh Esrei after as a תפלת נדבה

  • On Motzei Yom Kippur we wish each other a gut Yom Tov.

  • If your candle went out during Yom Kippur light it again now to burn fully.

  • We end up fasting 26 hours on Yom Kippur (Or at least 25 and a bit), corresponding to the Gimatriya of Yud Kay Vav Kay.

  • It is proper to wash the entire hand for neggel vasser without a bracha even a Kohein that washed his entire hand on Yom Kippur for Duchaning.

  • Havdala on Motzei Yom Kippur is always with wine and a candle (unlike other Yamim Tovim).

    • The candle may only be one that was lit from before Yom Kippur (or at least a candle that was not lit by a match but rather, lit from that candle). If you don’t have one, skip the candle entirely.

  • It is preferable to combine another wick to the candle so you have two wicks for havdala

  • It is best to have a 24 hour candle from before Yom Kippur dedicated to the purpose of havdala after Yom Kippur.

  • If you don’t have a dedicated candle, you may use the Yahrzeit candle or Lebedike Licht if you light another candle (or Havdala Licht) from it, and make the beracha on both togather.

  • Make Kiddush levana if possible, since we are in a state of joy and confident that Hashem blessed us with a health good year .

  • We sit down to a proper full Seudah. This Seudah draws down gashmiyus for the year.

  • We get involved in a mitzvah immediately and begin building the Succah on Motzei Yom Kippur. At the very least, make sure to discuss the building of the Succah. Some learn a little Mishnayos Succah to be yotzeh.