Yom Kippur, 1965, I was a Navy medical officer stationed aboard a destroyer off the coast of Vietnam.
There are many elements which make the High Holy Days a unique experience. Often, congregations swell to double or triple their usual size, the musical settings of even common liturgy are different, and some might alter their dress by wearing either traditionally all-white garments or more formal wear than they would sport on Shabbat. Some congregations even have unique garments to dress their Torah scrolls in white.
To devote ourselves to an accurate accounting of the soul, it is customary to refrain from five specific activities related to our bodies on Yom Kippur.
I don’t want to raise my children in a home with yelling. And yet, when I slip in a way that’s human and understandable, I fail both myself and my children.
During the 10 days of repentance and especially on Yom Kippur, we struggle with ourselves, shedding our flaws and the parts of our spirit that detract from our holiness.