Yom Kippur and Repentance

It’s just a few hours before Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year. Most Jews, even many not otherwise religious, will spend the day in fasting and in prayer.

Yom Kippur is perhaps the most observed Jewish holiday after the Passover Seder night. I think the reason for this is largely because the idea of teshuva – and of forgiveness – is universal. All of us have done things we are sorry for. We all want to make amends and seek forgiveness. But this is hard to do. Yom Kippur gives this process structure and, perhaps more importantly, makes it communal. Asking another for forgiveness, especially at a time when he is himself seeking forgiveness from someone else or from God, makes the process much easier. It is difficult to refuse another’s apology when you must yourself ask forgiveness of someone.

So Jews will flock to shuls, synagogues, and temples to seek forgiveness, or to hope that their one-day presence is enough to excuse their year long absence, and that God will forgive their neglect.

Others will sit, perhaps in the seat next to yours, and will quietly demand an apology from God and from man. For what? For entire families burned to smoke and ashes or buried in mass graves. For starvation and torture and neglect. For the rabbi, God’s messenger, who raped and abused them, and for the rabbis who stood by and let it happen. For the Kolkos and the Lanners and for their enablers, the Margulies and the Willigs, and, sadly, the gedolim.

Chances are, in your shul, someone will be alone within the crowd, lost in the pain of abuse present or past.

But we will ignore them. We will beat our chests, cry and seek forgiveness for tying the wrong shoe first or accidentally eating a piece of non-yoshon bakery. We will beseech God with all our might to forgive us these sins. For the day we ate a Hebrew National hot dog, for the day we ate the wrong cheese, for the day we didn’t learn enough or daven hard enough. And, as the day ends and the fast lifts, we feel renewed and forgiven.

This Yom Kippur take a few minutes out of your scripted self-centered piety and think about those people who really needed your help, but you ignored them. Maybe you wanted to avoid a “hillul hashem.” Perhaps you denied their cries by citing lashon hara law, or you chose to side with the rabbis because of their power and social standing (“they must be right – they’re rabbis and community leaders, after all”). Or maybe through the din of your daily life you did not hear their cries.

When the fast ends will you feel renewed and forgiven? I don’t think so.

It is our job, our mission as Jews, to make God known in the world. We do that whether we realize it or not, often whether we want to or not, for better or for worse.

The world is what we make of it. If you want to see God’s presence, make room for it. How do you do that? Help people. Feed the hungry, protect the defenseless. Reject corruption, stealing and fraud. Deal honestly with everyone, and protect the weakest among us.

If you do that, people will look at your communities and they will see God and they will say God is good.

If you do not, they will look at your communities and they will see a God of evil, a corrupt God, a falsifiable God, a God of welfare fraud and political fixes, of nepotism and abuse. You may not understand this but, all frum propaganda aside, this is what many people now see when they look at Orthodoxy.

It doesn’t have to be that way. You each have a choice. It may be difficult and it may be painful, but it’s yours. Please act on it.

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25 Comments

Filed under Divre Torah

25 responses to “Yom Kippur and Repentance

  1. John K. Diamond

    It couldn’t be said better!!!!!!!!!

  2. Michelle

    B”H

    With so much pain in the world, it is easy to ask “why?” and not so easy to find the answer in ourselves and our responsibility to Mitzvot and Midot. Too many Jews take care of the world outside and don’t take care of the Jews next to them. This was a beautiful reminded to do just that. May everyone have a meaningful fast.

  3. C-G

    Thanks- very well said. Ktivah v’chatima tova.

  4. avrohom

    Shmarya,

    If you would have written someof what you have written without your piggy sanctimnous bad bradth it would nice.

    But until you ask for forgiveness yourself and change your hatred towards judaism and those who are proponenet of judaism onservance you are going to enslaved to your piggy soul and you will not accomplish anything, neither with others (who you think that you want to change) and most importantly: withyourself (you will remain the same pig as before).

    While you so generalize all observant jews without putting things more in balance, in the middle of the road, try to see why you and your friends have not created anything POSITIVE in all your years of pig rantings! Even when the war in ISrael was on, for weeks, in the beggiing of the war, NOTHING HELPFUL FOR ISRAEL WAS DONE HERE.

    Try to understand: that thousandsof unnafilliated jews do not see anything JEWISH in your rantings and ravings, in your portrayal of judaism. You do not offer them anything positive JEWISH (just trashing and bashing frum and haredim and hassidim does not count as making it jewish).

    Your sermon could be substititued for any sermon said by a “Rabbi” in are form or conservative temple, in places where Judaism is watrered down to animal love and other values that have nothing to do with yiddishkeyt just an imal love and frum hatred.

    And now most important of all: YOU PIG fail to show any remorse and sense of “I ERRED” with regards to your stance about ISRAEL! You besmirched time and again the settlers. And have not asked for apology!

    You and your friends have BLOOD IBN THEIR HANDS, FOR DEMANDING THE EXPULSION OF 9,000 JEWS AND HAVE MADE THEM HOMELESS AND UNEMPLOYED, YOU AND YOUR PIGGY FRIENDS COULD NOT CARE LESS (WITH ALL YOU “LOVE FOR ANIMALS” AND “ANIMAL VALUES”) FOR JEWS WHO SUFFER FOR PROTECTING ALL THE CITIZENS OF ISRAEL.

    YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS HAVE A LOT TO REPENT FOR THE WAR WHICH BROUGHT ABOUT THE WORSE LACK OF DETTERRENCE THAT ISRAEL HAD UPON IT’S ENEMIES. “YPM KIPPUR” IS AN HISTORICAL TIME TO TO MATRERIALIZE THESE THOUGHTS, HOW VULNERABLE ISRAEL CAN BE (G-D FORBID) IF IT’S DETERRENCE IS MINIMIZED.

    YOUR POLICIES FOR BEGGING ISRAEL CEDE TERRITORY FOR NOTHING, FOR “PICE SMHIESS” HOLDING A PIECE OF PAPERS WITH ANIMALS HAVE BROUGHT ALMOST OVER 1,000 DEATHS AND THOUSANDS MORE INJURED AND MAIMED AND THE LACK OF SECURITY THAT ISRAEL HAS NOT EXPEIRNCED BEFORE THESE STUPID CEDING OF LANDS.

    YOUR UNLIATERAL WITHDRAWAL OR PUSHING JEWS FROM PROTECTING THEMSELVES BROUGHT THE WORST NATIAONAL DISASTER FOR JEWS IN THE PAST TWO DECADES.

    YOU PIGS, INSTEAD MAKING YOURSEVES SO “HOLY MOLLLY” THINK BACK FOR A SECOND, TO STOP YOUR PSHYCHOBABBLING AT OBSERVANT JEWS AND START DOING SOMETHING POSITIVE ABOUT THE SECURITY OF ISRAEL…START TALKING TO YOUR FREIND STHAT TALKING ABOUT CEDING LAND ENCOURAGES TERROR START TALKNIG GTO YOUR POLITICIIANS ABOUT NO TIES WITH HAMAS LED PA…START PRESSURING THEM TO STOP PRESSURING ISRAEL AND DO NOT WASTE OUR TIMES WITH YOUR PSYCHOBOBBEH MAASSEYS.

    MAYBE THEN YOU WILL START BEING A MENTCH.

  5. Neo-Conservaguy

    avrohom writes: “blah blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah”. Now I have to spend more time tomorrow repenting for the ugly thoughts that such tripe inspired. avrohom, get some mental help – your vile, idiotic ranting shows the extent of your need.

    Shmarya: hazak u’barukh – you’ve stood up like a man to the fools and liars that surround and “lead” many of the religious Jews. I can’t say I would write in the same style, but I’m glad that anyone is willing to stop being afraid enough to point out that emperor’s new clothes are composed of fictional halachoth that oppress and harm good Jews and protect evil ones.

    May it be a new year full of the Jewish people finding the courage to question their leadership and demand better answers regarding kashruth, corruption, and acts of chilul haShem being committed by satan in our midst, and to be willing to work hard ourselves to make the tikkun required for the goal of perfecting the world through our example of true holiness. Such holiness can only be found in the true integration of Torah and Madah, for as our sages have told us time and time again, without being active participants in the world and working, there can be no Torah.

    “You are not obligated to complete the task, but neither are you free to desist from it.”

    Amen, selah.

  6. avrohom

    Neo, Conserva-G

    It is very easy for you feel holy by demeaning others…this is what a self centered piggy does…dabbing in it’s own shmutzz and thinking that everyone else is unholy as the pig.

    If you and your friends would really want to do something positive (and beleive me i am for many things that you pigs write) you would at least show some understanding ath where the others are coming from. You would also realize and feel that Holiness is something mroe than animal love and othe taional god idols.

    But your messages leave all that out. Therefore it is completely unjewish.

    The most important sin that you and your friends have to repent is your total lack of compassion for the settlers in EY and morevoer you cirticized them harshly. You have been poresh from the tzibuur of EY and aligned yourself with the jew haters,. Until you make some actual practical U-turns you are nothing but hollow self centered holly molly good for nothing jews. Your message will not get across anywhere but your own dirty filthy stables.

    do teshuva.

  7. avrohom

    This is actually something you should emulate and copy instead of your garbage do nothings!

    http://www

    ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3309186,00.html

  8. avrohom

    This is actually something you should emulate and copy instead of your garbage do nothings!

    http://www

    ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3309186,00.html

  9. Franji

    r’ shmarya,
    chazaq uvarukh, gmar chatima tova to you, your friends and family.
    (neo-cons chatimah tova to u too).
    as to jews for yoshke r’l (or those for mamesh r’l) of them it is said: dogs bark and the caravan passes!

  10. avrohom

    franji,

    yes the dogs bark and the caravan passes…you good for nothing who did nothing for judaism in your life…your contempt for the jewish leader that did for yiddishekyt more than all you and your leaders together allows you to align yourself to someone that hates not only mamash ZYO but every leader of the past generations…he hates Remo…he hates Rishonim…he spoke disparagingly of all our leaders in the past centries…he is a mevazeh of all tzadkim and chachomim the chamey hamssorah…bit it does not matter as long as he bashes mamash…you pig good for nothing…DO TESHUVA

  11. AVROHOM

    and frnaji,

    the caravan of all those who do something for yiddishkeyt willpass, with thousands of yidden brought to yiddishkeyt…by acts of kindness and goodness to yidden..but you all the dogs and pigs will bark and they will ak you “what you have DONE OF POSITIVE…” You will bark thinking that this is something positive…

    USE THIS YOM KIPPUR TO DO SOME TESHUVA AND YOU MAY BE ZOCHE TO JOIN THE WAGON THAT CARRIES THE YIDDEN THAT DO GOOD DEEDS AND BRING JUDAISM TO THE WORLD AND YIDDEN TO JUDAISM…

  12. DK

    Avrohom, thank you for reminding all of us about the dangers of Jewish fundamentalism through your vitrolics.

    Sharya,

    Have an easy one, dude. I fear, because of the charem and all that, that you may be spending yom kippur alone, and it breaks my heart. Know I am thinking of you.

    DK

  13. avrohom

    in addition to the above sins you also this year shared your hatred for torah of Hashem and Kedushas HaTorah by appealing for policies that encourage jews to drop their plans to have their children enrolled in a Jewish school and having Jewish eduucation. You decry LEGAL steps taken help alleviate some of the extremely high price a Jew has for having child being edcuated as a Jew while other citiziens do not share this kind of burden and moreover, these people have buren of helping the education of those systems which they do not benefit directly (Although indirectly and were they to have billions for sure they would gladly give the system to make the world a civilized place etc.) and you with your piggy soul badmouth people who WORK HARD AND EARN THEIR MONEY (you would like all these people not to be profitable so that you blame their yiddishkeyt for their poverty as you usually do as a pighead soul) and instead of lauding them for their attempt to solve their education problems and isntead of coming up with other solutions like demanding the federations pay for jewish education which is the ONLY road to jewish continuity, they use money for administration and other unjeiwsh needs…

    instead for you to think to so something positive about these issues you just show your animal love to animals and jew haters and dig and dig and dig for dirt against dear jews who want to live jewish….

    and now: let me tell you you piggy soul that you are:

    all the ills that you dig for the orthodox society are found in your unholy piggy secular world 1000 TIMES STRONGER IN QUANTITY AND QUALITY!!!!! THE SHMUTZ IN SEXUAL PERVERSION AND CERTAINLY ALL PRITZUSDIKE PROMISCUITY IS A THOUSANDS TIMES STRONGER IN YOUR UNHOLY CIRCLES….

    WHILE IT IS TRUE: THAT ONE IN OUR CIRCLES IS TOO MANY, AND YES, I AGREE THAT IF YOU HAVE AP PROVEN CASE AND THEREIS COVERUP IT IS A TERRIBLE CRIME AND SHAME AND CHILLUL HASHEM…BUT REST IT EASY:

    THESE CASES ARE IN THE MINORITY OF MINORITY IN CIRCLES WHERE THE CHUMASH, MISHNEH GEMOROH, KABBLLAH AND CHASSIDUS IS PREVALENT…AND THEIR WORLD IS CLEANER IN THE END OF DAY ANY DAY THAN YOUR PIGGY UNHOLY SECULAR IDOLATRY WORLD…

    THIS AND OTHER ILLS MENTIOED BEFORE IS ENOUGH FOR YOU TO DO TESHUVA ON THIS YOM KIPPUR…

  14. avrohom

    DK,

    You and your piggy souls have nothing to worry. Nobody put shmarya piece of nothing in cherem…it is all in your unholy piggy heads…he is not that important as he makes it sound…and you are also not that important… at the end of the day you will live an empty live witrh all the erev rav’s where there is no judaism involved and align yourselves with the jew haters…

    but yom kippur gives you a chance for you to do teshuva…you and shmarie still have a chance. use it!

  15. Neo-Conservaguy

    “the caravan of all those who do something for yiddishkeyt willpass, with thousands of yidden brought to yiddishkeyt..”

    Narishkeyt, not yiddishkeyt. Keep smoking that shit, dude, and you’re going to really mess yourself up. How about giving it up for the next day or so?

  16. avrohom

    conserva gay,

    listen, your irrational outbusrts do not speak well of yourself and your piggy soul inclinations.

    Judaism is not animal love…it is not hate for jewish leaders who taught torah…not contept for Shluchan Oruch the Talmud…you and your friends can forget if you want to accomplish the discouragement of observant jews and their populations (which will iy”h grow exponenetially) of TOrah She Baal peh by spewing the malicious lies of their misgivings to be a prejection of the Torah SheBAAL peh and it’s chachmey hamessorah and the Tzaddikim of the generations. FORGET IT! others have tried and it did not help. Not shmarie not conserv-gay will remove the steadfastness of jews to Judaism as was practicved for thousands of years.

    Callibng al observant jews evil and criminals and sex coverupnicks will not further your cause a bit.

    For in your ddark world it is full of all these ills and more…you live a empty live empty of torah…invent your own religion …of making yourself feel good that you are “bleeeding heart” but when push comes to shove you show no compassion for jews are really at need (think about: Eretz yisroel the past war) .

    So, shmarie has lost it already…conserva-gay you have lost it already. You can try to DO TESHUVA! USE IT!

  17. avrohom

    conserva gay,

    listen, your irrational outbusrts do not speak well of yourself and your piggy soul inclinations.

    Judaism is not animal love…it is not hate for jewish leaders who taught torah…not contept for Shluchan Oruch the Talmud…you and your friends can forget if you want to accomplish the discouragement of observant jews and their populations (which will iy”h grow exponenetially) of TOrah She Baal peh by spewing the malicious lies of their misgivings to be a prejection of the Torah SheBAAL peh and it’s chachmey hamessorah and the Tzaddikim of the generations. FORGET IT! others have tried and it did not help. Not shmarie not conserv-gay will remove the steadfastness of jews to Judaism as was practicved for thousands of years.

    Callibng al observant jews evil and criminals and sex coverupnicks will not further your cause a bit.

    For in your ddark world it is full of all these ills and more…you live a empty live empty of torah…invent your own religion …of making yourself feel good that you are “bleeeding heart” but when push comes to shove you show no compassion for jews are really at need (think about: Eretz yisroel the past war) .

    So, shmarie has lost it already…conserva-gay you have lost it already. You can try to DO TESHUVA! USE IT!

  18. avrohom

    In light of the upcoming Yom Tov and day of reconciliation, i would like to offer a carrot to our eseteeemed host, Shmarya Rosenberg. Shmarya, has a lot of drive. This drive, since he is a Yid, may derive frm the G-dly soul that every single Jew has. He may have many points and motivations in which he wants to emliorate the state of Jewry to be close with Hashem.

    But, as it happpens to all of us, we have also the animalistic soul, that has animalistic tendencies and drives us away from what we really are.

    Therefore, if often occurs to the best of us, that the Yeteser Hara takes hold of the Yetzer Tov and holds him hostage and furthermore: uses some of the motivations of the G-dly soul to appl,y it to the animalistic tendencies that exist by the Yeser Horah.

    IT happens to all of us, to me to ConversaGuy to Shmarya. When Yom Kippur comes along, it is the time where Hashem gives us the gift where the enimal soul could vanish and dissapear for a few minutes. Those times we could cling to the Almighty. It is time when all JEws ‘s soul are awoken to the “right” thing.

    It is at these times that all of us should utilize them to it’s fullest:

    We will acknowledge that while sometimes some jews falter in their service of hashem, and sometimes we cover them up when we should not, and sometimes we forsake the valuesof Torah and service of Hashem for ” a soup of lentils” (being that all values in relation to Torah values are like a “soup of lentil”) and we tend to love of the animals, to coverup of corruption etc. and so on. It is therefore appropriate for me and Shmarya to seek to correct areas where each of us is weak and attempt to utilize the follwoing year, as a year that is filled with positive work, to unite the jews, to make them closer to g-d to look to further Jewish values…FILLED WITH LOVE TO ONE ANOTHER AND TO G-D,

    i apologize if i personally attacked you. I am erferring to the ideas you sepouse and not the person Shmarya,

    With love,

    Avrohom,

  19. Neo-Conservaguy

    “i apologize if i personally attacked you. I am erferring to the ideas you sepouse and not the person Shmarya…”

    A classic last-minute evasion by someone that realizes the moment of truth is approaching and they’ve stack the deck against themselves. Reasonable people can disagree reasonably: however, at no time does that encompass lying about what others say to more easily attack it, nor obviously name calling those who disagree with your opinion. How sad that in a world full of goyim that try to kill off the Jews every now and then we instead do the work for them.

    L’Shana Tova.

  20. Yochanan Lavie

    I am reading these posts just after Yom Kippur. At the risk of sounding sanctimonious, I truly hope that we are all inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life for happy and a healthy year. Including those who disagree with me.

  21. John K. Diamond

    From what I’ve read in Failed Messiah and other numerous sources over the past 5 years or so, Jewry seems to still be infected with causless hatred, the primary sin that caused the destruction of the Second Temple and our current exile.

    I believe that we need to put all issues through what I call “The Torah Filter”, which means that we may have to dispense with rulings of so call current day “Gedolim”, if they go against what is clearly stated by Hashem. One example of note, which was posted on this site some time ago, was the ruling of a leading Rabbi in Israel, that we are permitted to inflict any level of pain or cruelty on animals, if they serve our needs. This simply does not pass the “Torah Filter Test”.

    Eliminating causless hatred among us and using a “Torah Filter” to govern all of our actions and stated opinions, is one way that we will bring the coming of the Messiah closer, instead of placing obstacles in His path.

  22. avrohom

    Hi John,

    As you write “Jews seem to be infected with causeless hatred…”, Whether you disagree with the positions of otrher Jews, you should pose them as a disagreement about their positions and convince them that your position is backed with Torah sources and make your point without disparaging them, calling them ugly names and most importantly not exxageerating the problems and especially not blaming them for all ills of society, especialy when many and most of these ills are found in other circles as well.

    Catch them with honey. Try it. You may perhaps going to be more successful.

  23. avrohom

    Hi John,

    As you write “Jews seem to be infected with causeless hatred…”, Whether you disagree with the positions of otrher Jews, you should pose them as a disagreement about their positions and convince them that your position is backed with Torah sources and make your point without disparaging them, calling them ugly names and most importantly not exxageerating the problems and especially not blaming them for all ills of society, especialy when many and most of these ills are found in other circles as well.

    Catch them with honey. Try it. You may perhaps going to be more successful.

  24. pushkina

    what you said is in the yom kippur haftorah when g-d through isaiah asks, “is this the fast that i require?”

    i always think that haftorah should be somehow etched into peoples skins, if not their hearts. it stipulates exactly what we are required to do as jews, but we just either don’t get it or are too busy to bother.

    oh, and i believe in freedom of expression and everything but certain posts on this topic, all by one certain individual, really detract from the seasons holiness and the resolutions some of us have made to be better jews. maybe they could be removed?

  25. hashfanatic

    Again, with the “piggy soul”?

    How conventional.

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