Leviticus 23:27 - Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto YAHWEH. 28 - And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before YAHWEH your Elohim.
Some believe that since there are special offerings given at these feasts, it must mean that they are not for today. However, just because sacrifices are given at certain times throughout the year, it does not abolish the observance of Yahweh's seven Annual Sabbaths (First and Last days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day). There are also special sacrifices given on the regular Sabbath, yet we keep the regular weekly Sabbath as commanded.
Continuing in Leviticus 23:
Leviticus 23:29 - For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. 30 - And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. 31 - Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 - It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.
To "afflict the soul" means to fast
In Biblical Hebrew the expression "to afflict your souls" means "to fast" (Tzom). The Hebrew phrase 'INuI NeFeSH translated as "afflicting the soul", also appears in a number of Biblical passages, from which it is clear that this expression signifies fasting:
* "...I afflicted (KJV: "humbled") my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom." (Psalms 35,13)
* "...I wept, and afflicted (KJV: "chastened") my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach." (Psalms 69,11)
* "Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and you see not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and you take no notice?..." (Isaiah 58,3; see also vv.5.10)
"Soul" Means "appetite"
It should be pointed out that one of the meanings of the word "NeFeSH", commonly translated as "soul", is in fact "appetite". For example:
* "And put a knife to your throat, if you be a man given to appetite (NeFeSH)." (Proverbs 23,2-3)
* " For he satisfies the longing soul (NeFeSH), and fills the hungry soul (NeFeSH) with goodness." (Psalms 107,9)
* "The full soul (NeFeSH) loathes a honeycomb; but to the hungry soul (NeFeSH) every bitter thing is sweet." (Proverbs 27,7)
* "Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never satisfy their souls (NeFeSH) (KJV: "have enough")" (Isaiah 56,11)
Considering the warnings given, we would do well to obey the commandment here to fast. Some believe this is symbolic of when Yahushua will completely destroy the last enemy (death) at the end of the 1000 year reign when Satan will finally be thrown into the lake of fire. Then all sin will be atoned for and those who have chosen righteousness will forever be with Yahweh.
This day is casually mentioned in the book of Acts:
Acts 27:9 - Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, 10 - And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives.
Luke, the writer of Acts was using the "fast" as a reference point of time. Apparently, sailing was more dangerous in late autumn. On this day, we do fast. We neither eat bread nor drink water. It is a somber time of considering our ways and recognizing the atonement found in Yahushua the Messiah who is now seated at the right hand of Yahweh:
Psalms 110:1 - YAHWEH said unto my Master, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. 2 - YAHWEH shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. 3 - Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. 4 - YAHWEH hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. 5 - YAHWEH at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. 6 - He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.
Yahweh anointed the Messiah Yahushua as both king and priest. He is High Priest after the order of Melchizidek (meaning "King of Righteousness"). Melchizedek was the king that Abraham paid tithes to. Mechizedek was also the King of Salem, which most say is modern day Jerusalem.
Notice in verse 1 we see that Yahushua is seated at the right hand of Yahweh. According to the Torah, the High Priest was only permitted to enter the holy of holies on the Day of Atonement:
Leviticus 16:29 - And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: 30 - For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before YAHWEH. 31 - It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever. 32 - And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest's office in his father's stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments: 33 - And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation. 34 - And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as YAHWEH commanded Moses.
This is written of in Hebrews 9:6:
Hebrews 9:6 - Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. 7 - But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people's sins committed in ignorance; 8 - the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 - It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience-- 10 - concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation. 11 - But the Messiah came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 - Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 - For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sets apart for the purifying of the flesh, 14 - how much more shall the blood of the Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to Elohim, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living Elohim?
...and later in this chapter:
Hebrews 9:24 - For the Messiah has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of YAHWEH for us; 25 - not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another-- 26 - He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 - And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 - so the Messiah was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
The final part of Yom Kippur is what is called in Hebrew, "Ne'ilah" - the closing of the gates. The Holy of Holies could only be entered this one time of year, so the end of Yom Kippur was marked by a purposeful and meaningful closing of the gates of the temple. The Holy of Holies could not be entered again until the next year.
The Jewish Encyclopedia says,
R. Johanan held that "Ne'ilah" meant the closing of the gates of the Temple, while Abba claimed that it meant the closing of the gates of heaven (Yer. Ta'an. 7c). Both the Sephardic and the Ashkenazic rituals express the latter idea in their anthems; the Ashkenazic saying: "Open for us the gate at the time of the closing of the gates," and the Sephardic still more clearly: "At the time of the closing of the heavenly gates forgive our iniquities."