I am sharing my Yom Kippur remarks for anyone who was unable to join us this year:
Welcome to Yom Kippur and our time to connect as a community and individually as our New Year begins. I was actually pretty sick this past week. And it wasn’t great. But it gave me some time to slow down. Which is great and actually pretty Holy for the time of year! In fact I was resting so much that I found myself reading and listening to a number of messages on slowing down. And I found a beautiful connection between slowing down and being uplifted and rejoicing at the same time. And it brought me to a beautiful prayer that is said at the beginning of the new year each year as we enter into Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It was said by Hanna, a beautiful woman in the Torah who actually developed the movement and certain utterances of the prayers we say even today.
May G‑d grant that everyone actively strive for the above, in accordance with the prayer of the Prophetess Chanah, which we read on the first day of the New Year:
1 “My heart rejoices in G‑d,
2 my strength is uplifted through G‑d . . .
3 I cry out in His help . . . and
4 we will exalt in the coming of The Moshiach.”
I broke this prayer up in 4 steps and breaths because it speaks to the timelessness of teshuva (repentance and forgiveness) as HaShem sees it.
1 "My heart rejoices" is a key into the timelessness of this moment - being mindful for example. Really rejoicing which is a powerful way of expressing happiness physically. Being genuinely happy in the moment. Not easy to do so often when we think ahead about what’s next or look back at regret. It is difficult to stay in the moment and rejoice as this prayer asks us to do. Rejoice in the moment physically to really be present.
1 take a slowing breath for Joy we want to feel in the moment.
2 "My strength is uplifted through HaShem." The second part is praying for strength. This can be physical, spiritual, or emotional strength, moving us upward toward the protection and guidance of HaShem. This is also such a powerful message for today on. This day when we are asking for forgiveness from Hashem to move ahead from wrongful acts or thoughts. It does take an extra strength, an extra guided light and a feeling of being uplifted by HaShem and the Divine.
2 take a slowing breath for strength we find in HaShem
3 "I Cry out in His Help." This is the prayer Chana says as she begs for a child. The barren and empty feeling she has longing to be a mother. So many of us can relate to this. Even as a mother--that empty longing feeling when we don’t know how to "ill up or reach our child. This is the Help she seeks and we seek on Yom Kippur. This is the day we cry out. This type of help is crying out to Hashem for the knowledge and wisdom that will reach our child or inner child and her actual child. This cry is from the inner depths of our soul. This is the cry we want to reach today.
3 take a deep breath for the crying out toward HaShem
4 We will exalt in the Coming of the moshiach! This is perhaps the most powerful call for the day. Exalting in the coming of the Moshiach. Exalting in the full commitment and knowledge and Faith in a time where our purpose and the Divines purpose or plan for us is in total alignment.
This is perhaps the ultimate goal of today after we admit our flaws and mistakes. After we ask for complete forgiveness. After we come together as a community to share in one another’s prayers and requests... now we reflect and look deeply into our being. It’s easier when we fast! Not so much to sift through.
4 take a deep breath into the coming of the Moshiach and living in our purpose!
Just as Chana did so long ago ...
She slowed down and prayed...
We cry out
We align ourselves with the Divine
This is my message on Yom Kippur and the key and these four beautiful and timeless steps of prayer from one of our greatest and most humble women in Torah, Chana.
Let’s all try to slowdown. slowdown and be
Mindful to Rejoice in the Moment.
To be Uplifted by HaShem's Presence in our lives
To Cry out when we need His Help
To find our purpose and be aligned with the Divine's purpose in this world.
May this Yom Kippur and the year ahead be filled with HaShem's gift of Slowing our breaths, and many many Moments of Rejoicing.