Yom Kippur is considered to be a high holy holiday for Jews. For the year 2013 it begins on the evening of Sept 13th and ends on the evening of Sept. 14th. Three of the Jewish holidays, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot are celebrated during the Jewish month of Tishrei. The significance of this is represented with the belief that the number three is identified with balance, the Essence, and the symbol of the triangle as stability.
The holiday represents forgiveness of sins committed against God. The custom is to dedicate the eve of Yom Kippur to apologies for sins committed against fellow human beings, but an apology or compensation is not sufficient unless forgiveness by the injured person is also requested. It is customary to invite transgressors to also participate in Yom Kippur services.
According to Wikipedia:
The number five is a set number, relating to:
- In the Yom Kippur section of the Torah, the word soul appears five times.
- Soul, in the Torah is known by five separate names: soul, wind, spirit, living one and unique one.
- Unlike regular days, which have three prayer services, Yom Kippur has five- Maariv, Shacharis, Mussaf, Minchah and Neilah
- The Kohen Gadol rinsed himself in the mikveh five times on Yom Kippur.
The traditions are as follows:
- No eating and drinking
- No wearing of leather shoes
- No bathing or washing
- No anointing oneself with perfumes or lotions
- No marital relations "
These activities parallel the human condition and the Biblical account of expulsion from the garden of Eden. The purpose of these prohibitions is to make both the body and spirit uncomfortable and to feel compassion to others feel when they are in pain.