[b-hebrew] Yom Kippur

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Sat Aug 21 21:06:33 EDT 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: "Walter R. Mattfeld" <mattfeld12 at charter.net>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, August 22, 2004 1:51 AM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Yom Kippur

> I recently came across some info on Yom Kippur and not being Jewish, but
> formerly  a Fundamentalist Protestant Christian, would like to know if the
> below information is correct :
> "Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the tenth day of the month of Tishri
> according to the Jewish claendar, is unique in its holiness ("the Sabbath
> Sabbaths" - a day of solemn rest" as it is called in Leviticus 23:32). The
> Jews were granted this holiest of days at Mount Sinai while receiving the
> Torah. It was then that they became a people. The significance of Yom
> Kippur, as it appears on the medal, is to serve as a vehicle for the group
> forgiveness of a holy nation (the Jewish people) on a holy day (the Day of
> Atonement). And in fact, to forgive each individual for his sins. This day
> is the climax of the ten days of repentance which begins with the Rosh
> Hashana holiday (the New Year) and culminates with the Day of Atonement.
> The Torah declares that on Yom Kippur all sins will be forgiven: "for on
> this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanse you; from all your
> shall ye be clean before the Lord" (Leviticus 16:30). But our sages have
> interpreted that those sins made by man against the Lord will be pardoned,
> while those mades against a fellow man will be forgiven only upon direct
> reconcilitaion between man and his fellow man."

Dear Walter,

While I might have stated some of it differently, the above is certainly a
faithful, if simplified, representation of Jewish tradition. As far as your
second question below, my understanding is that Christianity sees itself as
"supplanting" Israel's special covenant relationship with God and Christ's
crucifixion as replacing the sacrificial cult, including that of Yom
Kippur - as well as most other commandments of the Torah (post-Temple
rabbinic Judaism sees personal prayer and repentance as replacing the
sacrifices). But I'm sure that others will have a different view on this.


> The above is quoted from a brochure accompanying a medal issued by the
> Israel Government Coins and Medals Corporation of Jerusalem for a medal
> commemorating Yom Kippur.
> If the above information is correct- then I have another question of
> Christian scholars on this list. If Christ as "the Logos" is presenting
> this to Moses at Mount Sinai, telling Israel that on Yom Kippur the
> sins are forgiven, whence the later Christian understanding that
> of sin occurs only when one becomes a Christian and is baptised into
> Christ's death ?
> Regards, Walter
> Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld y de la Torre, M.A. Ed.
> www.bibleorigins.net
> mattfeld12 at charter.net
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