KOSHER DELIGHT - YOUR JEWISH ONLINE MAGAZINE!
October 12, 2005 - ט' בתשרי
is one of the holiest days of the Jewish year, a day on which we
elevate ourselves above our usual mundane, physical existence by
fasting and abstaining from our daily pleasures, choosing instead
to spend the day in prayer and contemplation.
Jews praying in the Synagogue
is it all about? Somebody
once approached their Rabbi and asked the Rabbi, 'please help me,
show me how to do Teshuva (return/repent) to atone for my
taught you how to misbehave in the first place?'
I did it by myself. Nobody needed to teach me!'
same applies to Teshuva. You don't need lessons from me. The main
thing is sincerity and a genuine desire to make good.'
famous story is
told of the shepherd boy who came to the Baal Shem Tov's synagogue
on Yom Kippur. Hearing everyone else deep in prayer, crying out to
the heavens, he wanted to join in and pour out his soul. Problem
was, the only sounds that he knew were animal noises. So he
proceeded to imitate the farm animals. This caused quite a
commotion and some of the worshippers wanted to remove this young
upstart. The Baal Shem Tov, however, silenced them and showed
explained that the simple, true, heartfelt cries of this young boy
had accomplished more in the Heavens than all of the complex
meditations and contemplations that the more learned folk were
is the key. Even
somebody familiar with the prayers finds themselves tongue-tied on
Yom Kippur. There are a lot of prayers to say, a lot of unfamiliar
and difficult words and not enough time to say them. The order of
prayer is very important and I am not advocating doing away with
it. But it is important for us to remember the whole purpose of
our prayers, to return with a full heart and to achieve atonement,
a clean slate, to start afresh.
not be fazed by the endless pages of text. The main thing is
sincerity and a heartfelt desire. We have to actually want it for
ourselves. If that means whatever our personal equivalent is of
the shepherd boy's animal noises, then that is what is required.
all of us
'return' this Yom Kippur. May we start the New Year refreshed and
invigorated from this period of introspection and reflection and,
most importantly, may all of us, together with our families, be
the Book of Life for a Good and Sweet Year, a year of Health, Joy,
Happiness, Serenity, Courage and Wisdom, and a prosperous year
both materially and spiritually.
the coming of Moshiach speedily in our day.
an easy fast.
here to read
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