Yom Kippur, Jewish & Jehovah Witnesses

When, Why, How did the Jewish go from sacrificing animals on the alter to Yom Kimppur.

Why do the Jehovah Witnesses celebrate yom kippur?

The Jews stopped animal sacrifice after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by the romans and the forced disporata of the Jews from Palestine in 70 A.D.
I have no idea of what the JW’s do or why they do it! I will not comment on them because I do not want to get thrown off of the CAF.

I can’t speak for the JW but I was told that the only place where animal sacrifices were legal was in the temple. Hence, no temple, no animal sacrifices.

I agree with the previous two posters. Besides, the animal sacrifice itself was meaningless for atonement even in the days of the Temple if not incorporated into a prayer ceremony, and it did not atone for sins against one’s fellow man, only for those directly against G-d, and mainly for intentional sins rather than for those which we might not be aware of.

I had no idea JW’s “celebrate” Yom Kippur.

That opened a can of worms in my head, " … No temple, no animal sacrifice … "; so if Jesus is the Lamb of God, then why wasn’t he sacrificed in the temple?

Jews did not and do not believe in human sacrifice.

This is the crux of the matter. Yet, there is a very powerful moment in the movie, The Chosen, where Rabbi Saunders after reading about the 6 million Jews who were slaughtered in the holocaust quotes Job by saying, "Though thou slay me, yet will I trust in Him."

Towards the end of the movie Rabbi Saunders explains to Reuben, the friend of his son Daniel, why he did not communicate with his brilliant son Daniel as he was growing up. “A mind without a heart is nothing” In short, his brilliant son needed to know what it was to have compassion. He needed to learn the wisdom of the silence of suffering. He needed to know that others were suffering. To be a Tzaddik is one who understands and has the strength to bear suffering.

So eventhough Judaism does not believe in human sacrifice, there is an element of Judaism that believes that is only through suffering that one can become a Tzaddik, a bridge between God and his people.



It was a great film! Suffering is one thing, sacrifice and death are another. G-d forbid the latter. A Tzaddik can take on the suffering of others, but is not required to die for them. Further, the suffering of a Tzaddik is not even the principle means of atonement for another, less “holy,” person. It may help them in the eyes of G-d, but each of us is still responsible for our own redemption.

I understand Judaism’s distinction in explaining the difference between suffering and dying for others. Also, the means of atonement does not include suffering on behalf of less ‘holy’ persons. Eventhough, Isaiah 53 seems to portray the Suffering Servant, as Israel, atoning for others. The suffering victims of the Holocaust bringing forth the nation state of Israel?

Yes, it is one of my favorite movies. I am still haunted by Rabbi Saunder’s quotation of Job:
Though thou slay me, yet will I trust in Him.



Yom Kippur is an ancient holiday that is held as the day of atonement. Yom Kippur history states that, in the times of the First Temple, the High Priest of the Temple would offer an animal sacrifice on behalf of the Jewish community.

A perfect animal (either a lamb, goat, dove, bull) was chosen for sin offering. The blood of the animal justified the people before God and restored their relationship with Him.

Today, everyone atones for their own misdeeds through fasting and individual and communal prayer simply because there is no temple to held animal sacrifices.

Unlike the animal sacrifice during Yom Kippur, The Passover sacrifice is limited only to lambs which was prescribed in Exodus 12:3.

Jewish Traditions prescribes that five days was needed for the Passover lamb to be chosen for temple sacrifice. Jesus entered Jerusalem on lamb selection day, Palm Sunday as the Holy Lamb of God.

During the time of His Passion, the Passover lamb that was chosen on that year for animal sacrifice, was chosen by the temple leaders. It was meant for the sins of Israel, exclusive only for the Jewish nation.

Since God desire all mankind to know Him, He chose His own Lamb that Passover, where He intended Him to be the sin offering for the transgressions of everyone from every nation of every generation.

The symbolism of ‘outside the city walls’ sacrifice meant God did not limit himself to the confines of receiving Jewish atonement only. The Passover lamb that is Jesus was intended for the salvation of Gentiles as well.

God was also tired with the lukewarm attitude towards temple sacrifice during those days. That is why Jesus must be sacrificed outside the city and not inside the temple. God already foresee that the temple will be relatively insignificant after Jesus’ death. This was evident when, the veil of the Temple tore from top to bottom - representing a removal of the separation between God and man, right after Jesus’ divine sacrifice.

It is also important to note that after Jesus death on the cross, the following year until the year of destruction of the temple, the sacrifices done on the Jewish temple were not acceptable to God anymore. The Talmud makes clear that forty years before the destruction of the temple of Herod in 70 CE, the sacred rituals of the temple of the Lord were no longer acceptable to Him.

Correction to my previous post: I meant to say that the Yom Kippur animal sacrifice did NOT atone for intentional sins, only for those that were unintentional. Prayer alone was the principal means of atoning for intentional sins.

Thank you for your comments; you are a good friend to Israel and the Jewish people. Nonetheless, I must point out this is not exactly the Jewish interpretation of these events. Actually, the portion of the Talmud you mention notes that the frequent lack of miracles in the Temple, including the scarlet ribbon’s not turning white, among other events, occurred gradually over a much longer period of time than the forty years from 30 to 70 C.E., dating a couple of centuries earlier from the death of Shimon HaTzaddik. The reason for the absence of miracles in the Temple was the increasing wantonness of the Jewish people with regard to their lack of social justice toward the poor, the sick, and the widowed, and the alarming increase in acts of murder and other crimes. This is why the sacred rituals were no longer acceptable in the eyes of G-d, as the prophet Isaiah had foretold. However, Isaiah also stated that the sins of the Jewish people, symbolized by the scarlet ribbon, could be turned white as snow by means of prayerful atonement and, most particularly, acts of loving-kindness toward one another, in lieu of blood sacrifices. IOW, the departure from animal sacrifices (which, as I previously noted, were never designed as a substitute for prayer to begin with) was to be in the direction of confessional prayer alone as well as acts of charity, which is precisely what the rabbis in the Talmud stated. Moreover, the book of Ezekiel discusses the reinstatement of animal sacrifices, as well as several of the other rituals, upon the coming of the Messiah and the establishment of the Third Temple.

And dinner with the in-laws doesn’t count…

Commonly, the book of Proverbs is quoted by the apostle Peter and many of the early church fathers regarding such: “Charity covers a multitude of sins”.

Thanks for pointing out the correlation between acts of loving-kindness and atonement as spoken by the prophet Isaiah. Christianity often quotes v.18 and leaves out v.17:

17 Learn to do well: seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge for the fatherless, defend the widow.

18 And then come, and accuse me, saith the Lord: if your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow: and if they be red as crimson, they shall be white as wool.


On the death of the Good High Priest Shimon Ha’tzaddik the occurrence of these miracles you have mentioned became sporadic, meaning the lot for L’Ha shem would turn on the right hand of the High priest or the scarlet ribbon turning white at irregular intervals from year to year. There were some years when these miraculous signs occurred, and there were other years when they did not. It is unclear how many times God really did accepted the temple sacrifice on Yom Kippur during these periods. But I think God chose to do these things to drive a point, especially when the last 40 years of the Second temple started right after Jesus death on the cross.

This put me into thinking, what were the odds that God would reject those sacrifices for forty years straight? The probability of having the same result forty times is simply mind-boggling.

By the way, *L’Shanah Tovah *to you and all our Jewish friends on CAF.


I don’t think JWs celebrate Yom Kippur. If I remember correctly, they only celebrate Passover.


It is the Seventh Day Adventists who have a unique view of Yom Kippur. When Jesus Christ did not return on a specific date in 1840 something, it was interpreted to mean that Jesus Christ entered into the heavenly Holy of Holies on that day of Yom Kippur.

OCTOBER 22, 1844 was considered to be the date of Yom Kippur, rather than September, 23, 1844




Because Jesus is the true Temple. That is why he said “Destroy this Temple and I will rebuild it in three days”. He was speaking, of course, of the resurrection.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.