1. If I understand it right, The final verdict of YK is based on weighing one's merits vs sins and not how hard one davens on Yom Kippur. (Based on Rambam's Hichot Teshuva).

  2. My logic says that the YK day must be dedicated wholly to maximizing one's merits thru performing as many Mitzvot as one can (especially because the work is prohibited, no eating and no procreation it's hard to find Mitzvot. So at least one can be engaged in learning Torah all day long as it is the greatest Mitzvah of them all against all the Mitzvos!).

  3. Instead, we do "nothing Halachicly valuable", besides the [one-time] Viduy (Teshuvah) and Teffila (as for Rambam) (no Tzedaka on YK, sorry).

  4. Acc. to Rambam Teshuva definitely helps to win the case on YK, but this is exactly what seems illogical to me, how talks can be more beneficial when judging a person than good deeds?

The question is how davening on YK is more important than engaging in Mitzvot and Torah learning?


NB: Do you think opening a Kolel "Yom Kippur Torah" for those who can't daven for 6 hours straight is a viable option?

  • Interesting point. Maybe the NB should be the opening of the question. But of course, the mitzva d'yoma is viduy is the Sages (over centuries) prescribed a specific form for the many viduyim of Yom Kippur. Not so easy to decide to move them to 1 and learn the rest of the time. Now if you are asking whether you can pray at netz, finish at 10am and learn until 4pm, then that would be quite interesting. Sign me up! – mbloch Sep 20 at 13:01
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    This question seems to imply that davening on YK is not a Mitzvah. The answer to your question is that davening on Yom Kippur is indeed the Mitzvah of the day. – Salmononius2 Sep 20 at 15:23
  • @Salmononius2 As I said (check Rambam's HT) only the Viduy is a D"O Mitzvah IF one does a true Teshuva. Davening is not a Mitzvah (but Derabanan as all 3 times a day Teffilot). – Al Berko Sep 20 at 15:29
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    Al Berko and @mbloch - There are older people in every community who can't make it to shul and find Yom Kippur very difficult, whether they're able to fast or not. If you decide to go to a neitz minyan next year, learning is a good option, but you might also consider asking around a few days before to see if anyone knows one of these people, and after davening just going to their house and sitting with them. You will make their Yom Tov 1000x better. – Heshy Sep 20 at 15:49
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    @Al Berko according to the rambam, davening every day is a mitzvah d'oraysa (sefer hamitzvos aseh 5, perek 1 halacha 1 of hilchos tefillah)and even according to the ramban, davening during a time of tzarah is a mitzvah d'oraysa (in his commentary to the sefer hamitzvos, although he does offer different explanations as well) and i would think that yom kippur, when your whole year is getting decided, is considered a eis tzarah. also the ramban on perek 23 pasuk 2 in vayikra says that gathering together to call out to hashem is a mitzvah on yom tov – Asher Sep 20 at 16:34

Rambam himself says in Hilchot Teshuvah 3:3 that a person who is ‘hanging in the balance’ (i.e. has the same ‘number’ of merits and sins) must do teshuvah by Yom Kippur in order to be ‘sealed for life’.

“Wait!”, I hear you say. “Why does he need to do teshuvah? Surely any other mitzvah will be enough to ‘tip the scales’?”

R. Yitzchak Blazer in Kochvei Ohr chap. 5 answers that the sin of not doing teshuvah when presented with the opportunity to do so, will outweigh any other possible mitzvah one could do.

You have no other option. If you want to be sealed for good, you’re going to need to sincerely repent before Yom Kippur is done.

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