About this item

N'ilah, "the closing of the gates" is, in many ways, the most anticipated worship service in the entire Jewish calendar. Coming at the end of the 24-hour fast that characterizes Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) , it symbolizes the days of old when the gates of the ancient Temple closed at last, and with them, the last chance for prayers of atonement and reconciliation with God and with others. Nowadays, the synagogue service that replaced the Temple cult marks the occasion with heightened fervor: the only time all year when the gates of the ark that houses the Torah scroll remain open throughout the service; telltale melodies accompany the occasion; a final blast of the shofar (the ram's horn) symbolizes the end of the fast and the new beginning that follows; special prayers celebrate the human capacity to create a life that matters beyond our own mortality -- and the presence of God who "reaches out a hand" to invite us into the new Jewish year that N'ilah's final shofar blast inaugurates.

Read Next Recommendation

Report incorrect product information.