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Op-Ed: Post Yom Kippur Reflections

by Rochel Kaplan

One day- of an entire year; the holiest, awe-inspiring, highest point possible in human heights.

Today- one day later post Yom Kippur-what will be different?

Let us pause to catch our breath after a spiritual and physical marathon work-out. Let us turn to a relatable, positively uplifting and redemptive familiar time to draw some insight- Passover.

On the seder night we ask, “Why is this night different from all other nights of the year?”

Passover cleaning is a chore we do not relish. The transformation of Chometz to Matzah is starkly infinite. These various facets altogether, well-parallel the calm that happens after a storm; sitting around the seder table like kings, drinking the four cups of wine, and pouring out more symbolic wine.

Passover and Yom Kippur are six months apart. As soon as one concludes, we remember the other. In fact I see a strong parallel between these two holidays, where the contrast or differentiation between, the day-before and day-after, is mind- blowing.

When the Jewish nation left Egypt they emerged transformed from slavery to a redeemed people. The Almighty Himself, sans messengers, performed earth- shattering miracles like קריעת ים סוף (splitting the sea) defying His rules in nature. Even a maidservant saw revealed G-dliness! At Passover, we celebrate and give thanks for this pivotal life-altering, nationemerging, set of miracles; empowering us through the humility of matzah (flat, unleavened bread) to be a “proud” people under the sovereignty of G-d and the Torah.

Each Jewish holiday brings an impactful and enduring capacity for change when we are open and embracing.

Yom Kippur is a “lottery” chance to be forgiven. On this day as we stage a “fast” and removal of our most physical world; we open up to forgiveness-Teshuva, that is our most essential bond with אבינו, מלכנו . Our fifth and highest soul level- Yechida, unites with Hashem in a unity that defies all limitation. We are uplifted, redeemed and soaring.

How is it possible to be “sober” after a life- altering experience from one day to the next; from one moment to another?

As we come awash from the spiritual expansiveness of Yom Kippur, we are practically handed the keys to a new world view, to see life with open eyes. Living with a redemptive Moshiach-like approach is not unattainable if we commit to making this year happier, fulfilling, enriching and more real with our essential soul-self.

We must be aware that we have been gifted with the capacity within, and we are blessed with the necessary help from above, to succeed.

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