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The Day After Yom Kippur

On Shabbat, it is said, we receive an extra soul and when the Sabbath departs, we feel depleted and turn to the spices of Havdalah to revive us.

On Yom Kippur, we get an extra chance to be a better person and when the Holy Day is over we feel energized, restored. Part of this is because we break our fast and fortify ourselves once again with food. But part is also because we have confessed our sins, asked for forgiveness, and forgiven others. We have turned the page and are ready to move forward in our lives.

We move forward with resolve but also with uncertainty. After all, we have asked God to inscribe us in the Book of Life for another year. Will it be so? We have no way of knowing. We could perish the day after Yom Kippur or 364 days after. Who by fire? Who by water? Who will have part of a year of life or many years of life? It is largely out of our hands.

But still we move forward and how else to do so but with cautious optimism? I’m not a gambling man and I don’t want to jinx anything, but I think the odds are in my favor of living to the next Yom Kippur. Even if they weren’t, what choice do I have but to greet each day, live it as fully as possible, and hope for another?

Moving forward doesn’t have to be a sprint or a marathon. We can take our time, one day at a time, stringing together days well lived into weeks well lived and months well lived, all building to years and ultimately a life well lived. It begins with the day after Yom Kippur, when we move forward with fresh legs, a clear conscience, and gratitude for this extra chance to be worthy of the life we’ve been given. So let’s go!

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Sep 26, 2023

yes none of us know how long we will be here and it makes sense to greet the new days with optimism. while I had plenty to be forgiven for, and much to let go of, and have a lot on my plate these days - I feel blessed. right now there is a family in my community whose 6 year old daughter is dying from terminal brain cancer - after going through surgery and having to learn how to walk and talk again. my heart breaks for this family. this kind of suffering and grief is so much larger than any of my current worries. my point in sharing this is that it's easy to get caught up i…

Sep 27, 2023
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