The fifth and final prayer segment of Yom Kippur is Neilah, which means “locking” because the gates of Heaven are closing. From the onset of judgment, the Heavenly court provides open access. Man pleads his case, begs for mercy, repents and draws near. As the day ends, the window of opportunity begins to shut. Smart people grab the last moments of their appeal, and they exert themselves in sincere prayer and repentance. It is the final opportunity of the holiest day of the year. During this time, one should attempt to bring themselves to tears to arouse heavenly mercy.

After Neilah, the shofar is blown and we exclaim, “Next Year in Yerushalayim.”