What is ‘Aseret Yemei Teshuvah’?

The days between ‘Rosh Ha-Shanah’ (the Jewish New Year) and ‘Yom Kippur’ are called in Hebrew ‘Aseret Yemei Teshuvah’ {עשרת ימי תשובה}  which means ‘The Ten Days of Repentance.’

As mentioned before, ‘Rosh Ha-Shanah’ is the ‘Yearly Judgement Day.’ According to the Jewish tradition, this is the time of the year when God judges every living creature – meaning this is the ‘trial.’

‘Yom Kippur’ is in fact the culmination of the process that started on ‘Rosh Ha-Shanah’ and considered as ‘The Day of the Verdict.’ (tomorrow’s post will be dedicated to that topic).

The days ‘in between’ these two biblical holidays – ‘Rosh Ha-Shanah’ and ‘Yom Kippur’ – are, according to the Jewish tradition, the time of the year when God is closer to us (because of the ‘trial’) and the days are dedicated for repentance for our sins. We ask for forgiveness from all of the people we have hurt last year (intentionally and unintentionally) so we can come ‘clean’ before facing God on ‘Yom Kippur.’ The origins of this tradition – that God is closer to us in those days – can be found in an ancient Jewish interpretation for the following verse from the Book of Isaiah:

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.” (Isaiah 55: 6)