Friday, September 13, 2013

Yom Kippur, 5774

At sunset, Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement starts.

It is a day of fasting, prayer, spiritual reflection and contemplating G-d's judgement.

It's a day that always strikes me with awe and despair...because I know, and G-d knows exactly how imperfect a human being I am. All I can do, as the prayer says, is to ask G-d for understanding, mercy, and the strength to make things right because my good deeds are always too few.

Of course, Yom Kippur is not just about abasement. It is a time of hope, a time to see how to make things right between you and G-d and to persevere as you attempt to purify yourself spiritually. Because G-d's judgment occurs on this day, Yom Kippur. It is the holiest day of the Jewish calender, which concludes the period in the Jewish Calender known as The Days Of Awe.

In one famous instance Dodger pitcher and Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax stood up to considerable pressure and refused to violate Yom Kippur to pitch the opener to the 1965 World Series. (The Dodgers, BTW, won the series).

The above video is the traditional prayer, 'Kol Nidre', traditionally sung on Erev Yom Kippur, which is tonight. Here, it's performed acapella by Cantor Boaz Davidoff. It is a direct plea to G-d to forgive sins, unfulfilled vows and inequities: "May all the people of Israel be forgiven, including all the strangers who live in their midst, for all the people are in fault. O pardon the iniquities of this people, according to Thy abundant mercy, just as Thou forgave this people ever since they left Egypt."

May you all be blessed and inscribed. I'll see you Saturday night, G-d willing.

G'mar Chatima Tova.

No comments: