Yom Kippur 5779
It is that time again. The time when we look into our behavior, and our actions, and our intentions toward others. We pull out the specific times we have wronged people, and we wonder if we have done enough to make it right. Have we communicated our regret. It is through this self-evaluation, and through acknowledging specific shortcomings as it relates to others, that we are able to move forward in the New Year.
It is hard to admit mistakes. It is humiliating at times. It knocks the ego down. It makes us realize we are not as nice as we like to think we are. But this is what we do. As Jews, we find it within us to pull out the memory of our unforgiven wrongs, and we attempt to make them right.
This isn't just an act of righting wrongs. This is an act of revelation. We are revealing our true Self that has been marred and dirtied by our moving through life, by our wrong decisions, our impulsive reactions, our improper dealings. This is the time that we strip ourselves of these things, layer by layer. Teshuvah is the process that then reveals who we are, an amazing vessel filled with a spark of G-dliness. The connecting Oneness in us that is pure, that is beautiful, that is the true-you (me).
I've feel like in the past, I was taught that Yom Kippur should be considered the happiest day, and we often treat it like the most somber day (and not without good reason). But, why shouldn't we be overjoyed at returning to our true Self? It is a clean slate, friends. We should rejoice at the reveal of our authentic Self, and the fresh start to the New Year!
Should Old Acquaintance be forgot,
and never thought upon;
The flames of Love extinguished,
and fully past and gone:
Is thy sweet Heart now grown so cold,
that loving Breast of thine;
That thou canst never once reflect
On old long syne.
On old long syne my Jo,
On old long syne,
That thou canst never once reflect,
On old long syne.
where one may posit, rhetorically;
Do we call for old times to be forgotten?
or is do we choose to remember friendships, long-standing?
I think the dichotomy presented to each of us entering a new year becomes:
How do each of us differentiate joy vs. fear for the new year ahead of us; and will we choose to retain our memories gained (good/bad) for the year since past.
- Danny -