Sunday, September 20, 2015

Why We Shouldn't Hate Yom Kippur: I'm looking at you, Mom

First of all, quick primer: Yom Kippur is a Jewish holiday, occurring 10 days after the Jewish New Year. It is the Day of Repentance, and it is customary to fast from sundown the night before to sundown on the day of(this is how most Jewish holidays work).

I'm not going to tell you to have an easy fast as I try to ease off of the caffeine in time for Wednesday myself. Apparently if you drink a gallon of water the day before it helps? But I am going to tell you that the fast is not intended to be difficult. The purpose of the fast is to clean our souls and be as close to angels as possible.

The purpose of these Days of Awe and the day of Yom Kippur itself is to ask forgiveness from ourselves, others, and God.When we ask for forgiveness, we are at our most vulnerable. But at our most vulnerable is when we have the most potential for compassion and loving. Yom Kippur is our chance to right wrongs and start the New Year in a different mindset.

We speak about all of the bad things that have happened to us. Sometimes, we may even wonder why God does not apologize to us. By no means will I say that everything happens for a reason, however I will contest that we have more control than we give ourselves credit for. We can choose to make the most of what we have. For me, today, that meant having Grilled Cheese for breakfast so that i could finish this post before I go to Yizkor. And on a bigger scale, it's meant learning from harsh experiences instead of allowing them to break me.  We make a ton of choices every day, let's choose to have compassion and love.

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