In the Kollel this week, I gave a shiur on a topic that appears as a side point in the beginning of Masechet Challah (1:1 in the Yerushalmi), but is relevant to this week – namely why we generally do not keep two days of Yom Kippur (as we do by all other Chagim), and why some people did. The shiur and sources are available here.
I will not go into all the details, but I want to mention one position that I did not develop there. I noted that it seems to be that many of the Rishonim who kept two days of Yom Kippur seemed to have done so as an expression of general piety, rather than actually as an expression of Yom Kippur (a claim made most forcefully by Professor Ephraim Kanarfogel, who first showed me the prevalence of this minhag in Ashkenaz and the implications it has). This fits well with the minhag recorded by the Rokeach to fast throughout the Aseret Yimei Teshuva. The Tashbetz Katan even notes that keeping two days of Yom Kippur could only become binding if one kept it as two days of Yom Kippur and not if he kept it because he always fasted anyways. This implies that were at least some people who fasted on what would be day two of Yom Kippur as an excuse to do what they were inclined to do anyway. Continue reading Two Days of Yom Kippur