Nazarene Space

Why Fast on Yom Kippur?
James Scott Trimm

On Yom Kippur the Torah commands us to "afflict our souls ('INuI NeFeSH)" as we read:

“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 sojourns among you... It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever."
(Lev 16:29.31)

"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 YHWH... For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people... 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."
(Lev 23:27,29.32)

"And ye shall have on the tenth day of this seventh month an holy convocation; and ye shall afflict your souls: ye shall not do any work therein:"
(Num. 29:7)

The expression "to afflict your souls" in Hebrew is a euphemism meaning "to fast" (Tzom). The Hebrew phrase 'INuI NeFeSH is translated as "afflicting the soul". It also appears in a number of Scriptural passages, in which it is clear that this expression refers to 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)

This is because the word "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)

This is why Acts refers to Yom Kippur as “The Day of the Fast”:

9 And we were there a long time, until even the day of the Jewish fast was past. And
it was dangerous for a man to travel by sea, and Paul counseled them,
(Acts 27:9)


The shofar has been blown and the Day of Atonement is fast approaching. Each year at this time it is said that the gates of heaven open and the Merkavah (divine throne-chariot) is prepared for YHWH to come and judge the earth. It is for this reason that each Yom Kippur we make intercession for the world and petition YHWH to give us at least one more year. One more year to bring His people out of Babylon and into Torah, and one more year to bring more Jewish people to a knowledge of Messiah.

Each year the sins of the world are rapidly increasing and the time of reckoning is approaching.

Well it has been a very stressful day.  As many of you know, my wife has a chronic neurological condition, and under strain from certain household stresses that have come down in the last couple of days, she had a major seizure earlier today.  This was not one of her typical seizures, this one lasted fifteen minutes, and we had to call 911.  Fortunately she stopped the seizure on her own and so she did not have to go in the ambulance to the hospital (we are trying to avoid the ER right now, since there has been a case of Ebola right here in the DFW area, and anyone who gets Ebola and is symptomatic, is going to likely go to a local ER, so right now we want to "avoid it like the plague" as the old saying goes (and very appropriately in this case).  Her seizures are brought on, in part, by stress, and frankly one of the things that has her stressed out is finances, as we just lost a major source of household income, and at the worst possible time for us.  I just saw the stress on my wife's face and asked her what was wrong.  "I just don't see how we are going to get through this month." she said with a worried look on her face.

I was planning to take it easy with her tonight, and help her to relax, but I simply have to get this notice out.

I am asking two things of our friends and supporters out there:

1.  Please keep my wife in your prayers, that she does not have another seizure in her already weakened condition, that would be very bad.

2. Please support this ministry financially. I am going to bare my soul to you here, and no doubt our detractors will capitalize on this, but I only tell you the truth.  Would you have me do otherwise?  The fact is that  I try to be a good provider to my family, and it tears me up inside when I feel like I have failed them.  So please prayerfully consider making a donation to help support my work at this time.  This will not only help me continue the work, but it will also help me to wipe that worried look of of my wife's face. 

I am asking you, if this ministry has ever benefited you, to strongly consider stepping up to the plate and supporting this work today.

Please help us bring the message of Messiah and Torah to a lost world and create Scripture study materials for believers.
You can donate by going to the pay-pal counter at or donations can be sent by paypal to

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

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