Reflection on Yom Kippur

The purpose of fasting on Yom Kippur; Removing the Stumbling Block

Saying that the high holy day season is a busy time of year for Jewish professionals is a little like suggesting that a school teacher has a “few things to do” in the week leading up to the opening of school; it’s truly a profound understatement. The holy days require many hours of thoughtful preparation in writing, teaching, cooking, cleaning, and so much more. We work to prepare our children & families, our teachers & students, our many congregants; not to mention that we must somehow find the time to prepare ourselves.

So today, as we head into Yom Kippur, the most solemn day of the Jewish year, which brings opportunities for deep introspection, I share a short round-up of pieces that I feel are most worth reading (or re-reading) as you finish your preparations:

The Inclusion Confession by Rabbi Rebecca Schorr

And one more thought from my wise friend and colleague, Rabbi Ken Carr:
"Fasting on Yom Kippur is a call to a higher level of ethical behavior. It is a signal to recognize the responsibility we bear to other people. It is a shofar blast awakening us to our ability to improve the lives of those who need our help. This true fast is not easy, certainly not as easy as simply not eating and drinking. If our fasting is easy, then the fast will not have served its real purpose. So let us not wish each other a tzom kal, an easy fast; instead, let us wish each other a tzom tov, a good fast, a productive fast, a meaningful fast that leads us to action on behalf of those less fortunate than ourselves."

I wish each of you a tzom tov, a good fast. May this be a meaningful holiday for those who observe.

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