The Jewish Day of Atonement, known as Yom Kippur, beings tonight at sundown and runs through Wednesday night at sunset.
It’s the holiest day of the year in Judaism, and a day many Jewish people spend fasting and praying. It ends the 10 days of repentance, which began last week with Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.
According to Rabbi Jeremy Ruberg, of the New City Jewish Center, the atonement asked for on Yom Kippur is essentially an extension of new year’s resolutions from Rosh Hashana.
Along with fasting and prayer, another tradition of Yom Kippur, Ruberg said, is to not wear leather.
“People think, oh the High Holidays, get all dressed up,” he said. “Sure, you should look your best, but think, if you were approaching a person or something of great importance, you would want to look your best, but you wouldn’t want to look overly ostentatious. So there’s a tradition not to wear leather, shoes in particular, and so many people you might see wearing sandals, flip flops, Crocs, and I often encourage people to take on that custom and tradition because ultimately, it’s very comfortable when you’re standing for many hours.”