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  • Yehuda Pevzner

Holiest & Happiest

This Sunday night commences the holiday of Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.

What is Yom Kippur?

Though these Days of Awe, as they are often called, are solemn, they are not sad. In fact, Yom Kippur is, in a subtle way, one of the happiest days of the year.

For on Yom Kippur, we receive what is perhaps G-d's most sublime gift: His forgiveness. When one person forgives another, it is because of a deep sense of friendship and love that overrides the effect of whatever wrong was done. Similarly, G-d's forgiveness is an expression of His eternal, unconditional love.

Though we may have transgressed His will, our essence - our soul remains G-dly and pure. Yom Kippur is the one day each year when G-d reveals most clearly that our essence and His essence are one. Moreover, on the level of the soul, the Jewish people are all truly equal and indivisible.

The more fully we demonstrate our essential unity by acting with love and friendship amongst ourselves, the more fully G-d's love will be revealed to us.

When: The 10th day of Tishrei. This year, Yom Kippur starts on Sunday, Sept. 24, shortly before sunset (in NYC - 6:32 PM) until after nightfall (In NYC - 7:29 PM) on Monday, Sept. 25).

How: For nearly 26 hours, we “afflict our souls”: we abstain from food and drink, do not wash or apply lotions or creams, do not wear leather footwear, and abstain from marital relations. Instead, we spend the day in synagogue, praying for forgiveness.

For more about Yom Kippur, please visit

This Shabbat is Shabbat Shuva, the most auspicious Shabbat of the year. Candle lighting in NYC is on Friday at 6:35 PM.

Wishing you all a Gmar Chatima Tova, an easy fast, and this year, may we experience the service of Yom Kippur in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem with the coming of Moshiach now!

Shabbat Shalom!


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