Yom Kippur 5782

Holiday #2 (301)

Yom Kippur 5782

September 15-16

From the Chasidic Rebbes From the Kabbalists From the Chabad Masters Some Laws and Customs

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From the Chasidic Rebbes

"For the sin that we committed before you through our evil inclination." [Yom Kippur Confessional]

We confess fifty-three different "For the sin that we committed", but only with one of them do we mention the evil inclination. That is because most sins are done through our "good" inclination; that is, we sin and see it as good. Only rarely does a person feel that he has done something wrong, and recognize his evil side.
Rabbi Pinchas Horowitz

A Jew once came to the saintly Rabbi Yisrael of Ruzhin and cried, "Rebbe! I am a very great sinner and I want to repent."
"So why don't you repent?" the Rabbi asked him.
"I don't know how," he replied.
"Where did you learn how to sin?" the Rabbi asked.
"First I sinned, and only afterward did I learn that it was a sin," he exclaimed.
"In that case, you already know how to proceed," the Rabbi said. "Just repent. Afterwards you'll see that you did it properly!"

From the Kabbalists

The ten days between the New Year and the Day of Atonement allude to the Ten Emanations, for on the Day of Atonement He is exalted by them - "The Eternal of hosts is exalted through justice," as is known in tradition. Furthermore there is also a sign about this in the heavens, for this month of Tishrei has as its constellation the zodiac sign of the Balance, thus signifying that in this month, "A just balance and scales are set by the Eternal."
Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman (known as 'RAMBAN' or 'Nachmanides')

From the Chabad Masters

  "You put forth Your hand to sinners, while Your right hand You stretch out to repenters." [Yom Kippur Neilah Repetition - right after Kedushah]

The idea of "a hand to sinners" can also be understood to refer to the potential and aid made available to sinners to allow them to fulfill their choice to sin, where "a hand" refers to a minimal allowance. The stronger expression, "Your right hand You stretch out," denotes the actual encouragement and help given affectionately to those who sincerely want to return from their sinning ways but are finding the change difficult.

Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson

Some Laws and Customs

  "For the sin we have sinned before You." (Yom Kippur prayers)

When confessing our sins it is customary to beat the chest just over the heart as a symbol of repentance as each transgression is enumerated. Yet logically the opposite would seem to make more sense: Should not the heart strike out at the hand that actually committed the sin? Our intention, however, is the source of all transgression -- the lusts and desires of the heart that lead to sin.
(Hegyonot Shel Ami)

Another explanation for this is the rule which states that in a case of capital punishment, the condemning witness casts the first stone. Since we are accusing our hearts of being responsible for our sins, we strike our hearts heavily.
(Sefer HaMatamim)

'REPENTANCE, PRAYER and CHARITY avert the severity of the decree."
(From the repetition of the Yom Kippur Musaf Amidah)

"Out with the old year and its curses!

In with the new year and its blessings!"

L'shana Tova tikateiv v'tihateim




The ASCENT staff

Last year's Yom Kippur page


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