The Day of Atonement

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Today is just a regular day in September. For most. But for some of us, religious or not, it’s the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. Today is Yom Kippur.

I normally don’t observe even the most significant of holidays. I was raised quite liberally and took what I wanted from my religion- respecting it- honoring my ancestors- and leaving what I didn’t like.

Like today- a day of atonement and repentance.

But today, by chance, or some greater force- some major things are happening in my life. Some big changes have been set in motion. Pivotal, life-altering stuff. And interestingly enough- it coincides with coming home from one rather significant trip and the day before leaving for another retreat - an opportunity for reflection and meditation. (Beyond grateful for this!)

Today also happens to be Yom Kippur.

Rabbi Marc D. Angel once noted, “We should not be the same person the day after Yom Kippur that we were the day before Yom Kippur. We should be moving ahead, raising our lives to a higher level.”

So for today I'm going to see the opportunity instead of the obstacles. Today I am going to recognize all my blessings instead of the hurdles I am encountering. I am focusing on love as opposed to fear and the beauty of where I am as opposed to the mere idea of where I could possibly be.

Just for today, I am saying thank you - for the difficulties because they will bring me strength. I’m ready. And I’m thankful for the gifts I’ve been granted- the people in my life, my friends, who are my family, who make each day magical- and the person I’m becoming because of so many of them.

Today I am religious fasting for the first time ever- to make the observation of Yom Kippur more personal. Today I am hoping to grow, to move ahead, to evolve into something greater than I was yesterday.

So to all my friends who are observing this holiday, I wish you a meaningful fast. 🙏🏻

And if you’re not fasting, or not observing, or Christian, atheist, Muslim, Buddhist or anything else- I wish for you to always, always look at the light instead of the dark. And I hope for you, that tomorrow will be better than today.

Yom Tov.