Yom Kippur begins tomorrow night. It is the day of Divine forgiveness. Of fasting and prayer. A day when the fate of every living thing is sealed. We pray that each and every one of you and the entire People of Israel be sealed in the Book of Life for a year of good health, sustenance, nachas from your children and all that you need and want.
It is the day where each and every Jew comes “face to face” one on one with G-d. The day, that no matter what kind of a Jew you are, or think you may be, all those external layers fall away. You are a Jew at the inner core of your being. Whether you have your issues with G-d or not, this is the day that you as a Jew confront that no matter what , you are a Jew. And as a Jew your bond with G-d is unbreakable. NO matter what you’ve done or haven’t done, Yom Kippur is the day that bond is reestablished.
Let’s try to make the day count. Renew our relationship with G-d. On His terms, not ours.
For while the Essence of a Jew can never disconnect from G-d, the way to have a true and meaningful relationship with G-d is through fulfilling His Mitzvot. That’s how the finite and the Infinite can merge.
That’s what happens on Yom Kippur. The ultimate bonding of a Jew with G-d. For 26 hours.
Yom Kippur is observed through refraining from:
1. Eating and drinking (all males above the age of 13 and females above the age of 12 are required to fast, including pregnantt and nursing moms. For serious medical or health considerations, consult a competent G-d fearing Rabbi (and doctor) .
2. Bathing or washing or pleasure
3. sexual relations
4. wearing leather shoes
5. anointing oneself for pleasure
It is also customary to light a Yizkor candle before the start of the Holy Day for deceased parents as Yizkor will be said during Day Services.
As Yom Kippur is the day of Divine Forgiveness, it’s important to mention that our rabbis say that sins between man and G-d, if one truly regrets them, the day offers forgivensee. But to receive forgiveness for sins between man and man, we must seek the person we have hurt’s forgiveness in order to receive Divine forgiveness.
We thus ask anyone who we may have hurt in any way for forgiveness.
Wishing you all an easy fast and a healthy, happy and prosperous New year with peace in our Holy Land and the world over.
Gmar Chasima Tova-May you all be sealed for a good year!
Gut Shabbos and Gut Yom Tov,
Rabbi Yacov and Hindy Borenstein