We know there's a concept for all Jewish men (in the times of the Beis Hamikdash) to go to Jerusalem for the 3 holidays of sukkos Pesach and Shavuos.

Is there any source to go for Rosh Hashona or Yom Kippur?

If not, is there a reason why not? (And people should specifically stay home or there's just no Mitzvah to go.)

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    "If not, why not?" Why should there be? If you reason to suspect such an obligation ought exist, please edit to clarify
    – Double AA
    Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 0:04

2 Answers 2


As DanF already answered, the Torah only commands us to go for the 3 festivals.

However, if you look in the Mishna in Yoma, 7:2, and its commentators, you will learn that there were people who attended the Yom Kippur services in the Bet HaMikdash - and that it was a Mitzva to do so.


הָרוֹאֶה כֹהֵן גָּדוֹל כְּשֶׁהוּא קוֹרֵא, אֵינוֹ רוֹאֶה פַר וְשָׂעִיר הַנִּשְׂרָפִים. וְהָרוֹאֶה פַר וְשָׂעִיר הַנִּשְׂרָפִים, אֵינוֹ רוֹאֶה כֹהֵן גָּדוֹל כְּשֶׁהוּא קוֹרֵא. וְלֹא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי, אֶלָּא שֶׁהָיְתָה דֶרֶךְ רְחוֹקָה, וּמְלֶאכֶת שְׁנֵיהֶן שָׁוָה כְאֶחָת

One who saw the High Priest reading the Torah couldn't see the goat and bull being burnt. And vice-versa. Not because it was forbidden, but because they happened simultaneously at 2 locations far away from each other.

The Bartenura there explains that watching the Yom Kippur service being performed is a Mitzva.

וּרְאִיַּת עֲבוֹדָה מִצְוָה הִיא מִשּׁוּם בְּרֹב עַם הַדְרַת מֶלֶךְ

From a practical aspect, keep in mind that between Yom Kippur and Sukkoth there are 4 days (and often one of them is Shabbat). So those that lived further away would probably plan to be in Jerusalem by Yom Kippur so as not to be "camping out" during the fast day.


Deuteronomy 16:16:

שָׁל֣וֹשׁ פְּעָמִ֣ים ׀ בַּשָּׁנָ֡ה יֵרָאֶ֨ה כָל־זְכוּרְךָ֜ אֶת־פְּנֵ֣י ׀ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֗יךָ בַּמָּקוֹם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר יִבְחָ֔ר בְּחַ֧ג הַמַּצּ֛וֹת וּבְחַ֥ג הַשָּׁבֻע֖וֹת וּבְחַ֣ג הַסֻּכּ֑וֹת וְלֹ֧א יֵרָאֶ֛ה אֶת־פְּנֵ֥י יְהוָ֖ה רֵיקָֽם׃

Modified Sefaria.org translation:

Three times in a year shall all your males appear before the LORD your God in the place which He shall choose; on the feast of unleavened bread (Pesach), and on the feast of weeks (Shavu'ot), and on the feast of tabernacles (Succot); and they shall not appear before the LORD empty;

The Torah specifies the pilgrimage to Jersualem on only these 3 holidays, not Rosh Hashannah or Yom Kippur.

People don't need to stay home, but there is no mitzvah of pilgrimage (aliyah l'regel)on these other days. I'm surmising that the reason is that the 3 days mentioned, there is also a mitzvah of joy and celebration. (See surrounding verses in that section, Devarim ch. 16.) It is more difficult to feel complete joy and celebration when people are in awe and fear on the days of Judgement on Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur.

With Yom Kippur, in particular, it would be a contradiction as there is a mitzvah to eat and drink in Jerusalem during the pilgrimages - somethimng that you cannot do on Yom Kippur.


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