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October 7, 2022
The Yom Kippur services are perhaps the most poignant and haunting entries in the Jewish liturgical canon. They are also my favorite. Yom Kippur and its rituals serve as an annual opportunity for a depth of reflection that otherwise might prove impossible on any day not specifically designed for this purpose. The need to observe and protect this introspective exercise is especially important in the current era of 24-hour accessibility, the seven-day work week, and of constant hypnosis by the electronic devices to which we are now permanently tethered.
Some refer to Yom Kippur as the “Shabbat of Shabbats,” and indeed the morning and afternoon services are themselves variations on the Shabbat morning experience. Nonetheless, Yom Kippur and Shabbat serve markedly different purposes. While Shabbat compels us to refill our spiritual tanks by both learning and reconnecting with those we love, Yom Kippur requires us to restore our connection to ourselves. Read More.