Asara B’Tishrei. The 10th Day of Tishrei. That’s tonight’s (and tomorrow’s) Hebrew Date. But, you probably are more familiar with the traditional name of the holy day- Yom Kipur. Yom Kipur marks the end of 40 days of introspection, repentance, and preparation; rearranging our lives so we can be better humans, that we can make this world a better place- with renewed vigor.
Yom Kipur also means that we neither eat nor drink for some 25 hours. This abstinence begins before sundown tonight (we need to be in the synagogue to hear the all important prayer- Kol Nidrei) until 45 minutes after sunset tomorrow.
(By the way, another name for Yom Kipur is Shabat Shabaton- the Sabbath of Sabbaths. It is the ONLY fast day that trumps Shabat, normally a day of celebration and eating. So, that means no food, no water this Shabat.)
Yom Kipur is also the 10th day of the 10 days of T’shuva. Too often in English, this period is translated as the 10 Days of Repentance. Of course, that is one potential translation of the word.
But a more appropriate translation would be return, rather than repentance. A return to our intimate conversations and relationship with Hashem, the Supreme Being. That return makes it possible for us to truly see the good in everyone (yes, sometimes that is very hard- especially given this political season); after all, we are all children of Hashem. It makes it possible- and required- for us to try that little bit harder to make this world a better place.
(Yom Kipur is also known as the “Day of Atonement”, which can also be considered the “Day of At One Ment”…)
No matter what your religion, may you find that return, that intimate conversation and relationship with the Supreme Being.
Given the state of the world today, we all could use that counsel and see our way to making the state of the world better for all of us.
G’mar Chatima Tova… May you be sealed in the book of health, happiness, and prosperity.