Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Yom Kippur: Time for Reflection

To all of you, my readers, who are Jewish and observe Yom Kippur, I want to take this moment to wish you a meaningful and easy fast.

For this time of year, we are closest to G-d cleansing our souls, reflecting on life, remembering loved ones lost, and the millions of others who have perished in the Holocaust, including Jews and many others, to save us and provide us freedom.

Now try explaining THAT to a preschooler. It's not something that's very easy to do. It was a bit tough trying to explain to Sarah why she wasn't going to school tomorrow,  why mommy and daddy were not going to work, why there was going to be fasting from eating and drinking, and why there would be sadness and possibly tears.

So, I mentioned to her that it is a day to remember loved ones that are in heaven, for us to spend time together taking a walk and engaging in dialogue about how we treat people and how others treat us, and more.

Tomorrow, while solemn, will be a time to embrace our family and friends thanking G-d everyday for their presence in our lives. We will also ask G-d to accept our forgiveness for the wrongdoings we have done including gossiping, yelling, being mean to others, cheating, and being unkind to ourselves.

It it this time that we then commit to a life of good, and not evil, and happiness and good health. We also ask for a sweet and abundant new year. During this holiday, many adults will, for 25 hours from sundown tonight to sundown tomorrow evening, fast from eating food and drinking beverages as a symbol of respect and reminder of what was sacrificed so many years ago including the tragedies of the Holocaust.

At the commencement of Yom Kippur when the sun sets we will enjoy a festive meal and spend time with family and friends and be reminded of the fresh, new journeys that lie ahead, and the goodness that we will create.

Here are some special Yom Kippur Haiku:

This time of the year
We remember loved ones lost
Memories live on
Time for reflection
As we stop eating, drinking
Fasting and mourning
To an easy fast
And time for remembering
Lives of many lost
As we close the book
Let us take time to reflect
Open our hearts
To many lives lost
Your memory lives with us
Through eternity
G-d, please cleanse our souls
Of spite, gossip, bitterness
With hearts wide open
Time for forgiveness
To reflect, remember, change
Begin a new year

Wishing you all an easy fast, a time of reflection, embraces with family and friends, and time for new beginnings.

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