Neilah prayer

Neilah prayer

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people, as is said in the Torah

“Because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. Then, before the Lord, you will be clean from all your sins.”

On Beit Chabad’s Kippur website, you will learn the holy day’s rules and customs as well as everything you need to know about the holy day.

In addition, you can observe the kapparot mitzvah with Beit Chabad.

The donation is secured via credit card or paypal

The payment is made to the Beit Chabad Foundation, Sderot, under Tzeirei Agudat Chabad Bn No. 580134229

Table of Contents:

What is the Neilah prayer

Yom Kippur is the holiest day for the Jewish people, as we spend it in prayer.

Neilah is an additional prayer to the four prayers said every Sabbath and holy day (Arvit, Shacharit, Mussaf and Mincha)

It is stated in the holy books that during Neilah, God seals the judgment and completes the atonement.

The Neilah prayer – what does the name mean?

There are several explanations for why this prayer is called “Neilah” (locking)

  1. When praying, the gates of the heavens are locked and the people of Israel find themselves with God, this is a special time since there is no prosecutor, as no angel or any kind of being is allowed to enter the heavenly halls at that time.
  2. This prayer is said towards the end of the day, as is said in the ode “the day and the sun will make way and we will come to your gates”, towards the end of Yom Kippur the gates are locked, and we have our last opportunity to come and ask God to accept our prayers.

When is the Neilah prayer said?

The prayer time is when the sun is close to the tree tops, close to the start of sunset.

The course of the prayer

The prayer begins with the song Ashrei, and saying half Kaddish.

It is customary to say the Kaddish with a special tune in accordance with the traditional wording.

This is followed by a whispered prayer, and the cantor repeating odes during the prayer, whose contents request God to sign our judgment for the better.

At the end of the prayer we say the “Avinu Malkeinu” prayer, even when Yom Kippur falls on a Saturday.

The end of the prayer

Saying Shema Israel (once, with great intention to hand over our lives to sanctify God, and this intention counts as giving over one’s life in practice)

Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuto L’olam Va’ed (3 times)

Adonai Hu HaElokim (7 times)

Blowing the shofar on Yom Kippur

After saying Shema Israel, Baruch Hashem and Hashem Hu Ha Elokim, we say Kaddish Titkabel and give one, long blow in the shofar.

Blowing shofar is done after the stars come out of course and it has 2 meanings:

  1. It is a sign for the removal of the divine presence that returned to the heavens after the prayer is completed.
  2. To show and announce in this prayer that this is a festive day and we must know hold a feast.

To the next year in Jerusalem

At the end of the prayer, we declare “to the next year in Jerusalem”, we say Arvit, and then a Havdala for the end of Yom Kippur

Completing the custom of Kapparot for those who missed it

Someone who missed it and did not have time to observe the custom, can complete it even after Yom Kippur, preferably before Hoshana Raba. Kapparot donations can be given online through the website.

Neilah prayer

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