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Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur

Holidays
Deuteronomy 29:9–14, 30:11–20 (Morning) and Leviticus 19:1-4, 9-18, 32-37 (Afternoon)

Surely, this Instruction which I enjoin upon you this day is not too baffling for you, nor is it beyond reach. - Deuteronomy 30:11

Summary: 

Yom Kippur morning: In the final address by Moses to the Children of Israel, we are reminded that each and every one of us is a member of the Covenant. From our ancestors at Sinai to this very day, each of us is the heir to this sacred tradition. Our tradition is neither too difficult to learn nor too cumbersome to follow. Regardless of our station in life, Torah belongs to all of us. Finally, we are exhorted to “choose life,” to love God, to walk in God’s ways, and to keep God’s commandments. By doing so, we open our hearts to God and to each other.

Yom Kippur afternoon: In the climactic chapter of the Book of Leviticus, we read that each of us can be holy. Each of us has the capacity to bring holiness into our lives and into the lives of those around us. Every act, great or small, can bring us closer to the sacred. We are instructed to leave something from our fields for the poor and for the stranger. We are told, “You shall not insult the deaf, or place a stumbling block before the blind.” We are reminded that we were once strangers in the Land of Egypt and so we must love the stranger. As the Torah reading on Yom Kippur reminds us, each of us is capable of doing this. The way to a life of holiness is by sanctifying each moment of our lives.

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