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How would you alarm Yom Kippur? A austere day? A day of adoration and supplication? A day of abstinence? The Mishna has a altered description. It says Yom Kippur is a day of joy – in fact, one of the two happiest canicule of the year. This seems hasty to say the least. Yom Kippur is a day spent praying and fasting, and about putting abreast the things that accompany us concrete enjoyment.
The Talmud explains the beatitude and joy of the day is because it’s a day of absolution for our misdeeds, the befalling to activate our lives afresh, chargeless from the mistakes and wrongdoings of the past. It’s the amazing opportunity, in a sense, to go aback in time and change history… our history.
The Hebrew chat for attrition is teshuva, which actually agency “return”. Through teshuva, we acknowledgment to that aboriginal accompaniment in which there was no ambit or abstract in our accord with our Creator and with our adolescent animal beings.
Of course, it doesn’t aloof happen. Absolute attrition takes afflicted accomplishment and application. The Rambam, in his Laws of Attrition (Laws of Teshuva, 2:2), defines the activity of attrition and sets out its assorted components: regretting the mistakes of the past, desisting from that atrocity in the present, absolute not to acknowledgment to this advance of activity in the future, and finally, confession, an absolute exact acceptance of all of our misdeeds.
The activity of teshuva leads to absolution at any time in the year, but it has appropriate ability on Yom Kippur. As the Rambam writes: “Yom Kippur is a time of teshuva for every alone and for the multitudes, and it is the acme of forgiveness… accordingly anybody is answerable to do teshuva and to accede on Yom Kippur.” (Laws of Teshuva, 2:7). On Yom Kippur, the force of Divine absolution is at its apex, and our ardent pleas for absolution are both added almighty and added readily accepted.
The Rambam credibility out that the activity of teshuva declared aloft is acceptable aback it comes to misdeeds that accept damaged our accord with God, but words and accomplishments that account abuse to added bodies crave an added step. To adjust the abuse done to others, we charge to alone ask their forgiveness, as able-bodied as accomplish any budgetary amends if we accept acquired them banking loss. Indeed, the Rambam says, based on the Talmud, that Yom Kippur does not absolve for sins amid one being and addition unless that claimed absolution has been granted. It is for this acumen that, in the canicule arch up to Yom Kippur, it is accepted to ask for absolution from whoever one may accept wronged in the accomplished year, so as to be able to admission the allowance of Divine absolution on Yom Kippur. The Rambam writes that it’s important for the being who has been wronged to act with benevolence and affably admission forgiveness. In this way, the relationships that accept been damaged by our atrocity can be absolutely restored.
The basal band is that the redemptive, antibacterial admiral of Yom Kippur can alone be accessed through absolute activity and aboveboard ambition – through a abysmal and allusive teshuva process. This additionally explains why an important allotment of our Yom Kippur prayers is adherent to viduy – “confession”. In anniversary of the Yom Kippur Amidahs, there is a area adherent to confession. The actuality that the adventures blueprint is anchored in the best affectionate and claimed of our prayers – the Amidah – indicates that our acknowledgment is meant to be a absolute appointment with God, a moment of accuracy as we angle afore our Creator, our defences down, after any pretensions of innocence.
The accord amid acknowledgment and the added apparatus of the teshuva activity is important to understand. The teshuva activity is abundantly an centralized activity of transformation, active in the affection and apperception and body of a person. Affliction for the accomplished and boldness for the approaching are a accompaniment of mind. It is the activity of acknowledgment that gives exact announcement to the abysmal centralized cerebral and affecting activity of claimed change and repentance. The words of the viduy advice us clear and concretise the abysmal animosity of affliction for the accomplished and boldness for the future. By vocalising our misdeeds, we reinforce – and accord appearance and anatomy to – the processes demography abode abysmal below the surface.
Ultimately, we cannot aloof airing into the Yom Kippur acquaintance after preparation. Aback we recite the assorted adventures afore God on Yom Kippur, we charge to accept done the all-important airy and concrete assignment beforehand. That is why Yom Kippur does not arise in the agenda in isolation. It is allotment of the Ten Canicule of Repentance, which activate with Rosh Hashanah and culminate with Yom Kippur. The adamantine assignment of teshuva begins, in fact, from the alpha of the ages of Elul, the ages above-mentioned Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
One of the adventures we say on Yom Kippur is to accede that sometimes we say a acknowledgment after acceptation and intention, and this is article we accept to be acquainted of and bouncer against. To alone aperture the words and accept it’s an automated canyon to absolution and amends is a analytical mistake. Yom Kippur is the happiest day of the year because of its admiral of forgiveness, amends and airy cleansing – but it is a allowance which is accessed through the absolute assignment of claimed transformation.
Confession additionally catalyses addition dynamic, and that is self-transcendence. Rav Chaim Friedlander explains the antecedent of best personality faults and atrocity in the apple is arrogance and self-absorption. Egotism. Our sages alarm on us to transcend our ego, to affair ourselves with the abundance of others. The Gemara says we will acquisition absolution and benevolence from God aback we are able to be compassionate and affectionate appear others. On a simple level, the Gemara is adage God deals with us admeasurement for measure. If we appearance understanding, absolution and benevolence to others, again He will do the aforementioned for us in return. But Rav Friedlander says it goes deeper. The accommodation to appearance understanding, absolution and benevolence to added bodies is acquired from a accommodation to transcend our ego. This self-transcendence imbues us with a asceticism and abstention and greatness, and it is this that brings about the Divine forgiveness.
So Yom Kippur is a day of accomplishing self-transcendence. We do so through our confessions, area we booty a footfall aback from our ego and attending at ourselves objectively, acknowledging area we accept fabricated mistakes and area we can advance and how we can become bigger people. Doing so verbally and aboveboard afore God is a actual able act of self-transcendence.
The added ambit of self-transcendence on Yom Kippur is to transcend the concrete apple by not partaking in aliment and drink, not cutting covering shoes, not abrasion or anointing with oils, or agreeable in conjugal relations. That, too, is an act of arete – of acute the following of claimed concrete delight that can sometimes counterbalance us down, and can abstract us from the assignment of conduct that the day of Yom Kippur is all about.
Above all, Yom Kippur is a day of Divine forgiveness, a day of accretion and liberation from our mistakes and misdeeds. It is, in short, the happiest day of the year.