Monday, September 24, 2012



Have you forgiven yourself and others yet?

Well, you will know if you have because all of a sudden, all your relationships will change.

Yom Kippur is the day when the renewal of the relationships in our lives becomes etched in stone.  It is the only day that we can reach into the deepest, most hidden, part of our soul, the purest part.  It is the perfect day to rediscover who we really are (a pure neshama!) and reconnect to our true selves and to Hashem.

I see it as a day of infinite hope:

May it be Hashem's will that all of our relationships are healed.

1. bein adam l'atzmo: between me and myself: 

This year may we identify with the pure neshama that we are, and not the actions, thoughts, and emotions that try to define us as someone else.

2. bein adam l'chaveiro: between me and my fellow man:

This year may we identify others as the pure neshamos that they are, and not the actions, thoughts, speech that seem totally disconnected from Torah.

3. bein adam l'Makom: between me and Hashem:

This year may we see Hashem as our closest confidante, as the One who is holding us afloat and breathing our very life into us, as the One who is pulling us close to Him every second of the day.

Gmar Chasima Tova,

Love, aviva rus


Tishrei 8

It took Moses only 40 days to receive the entire Torah from G-d on Mt. Sinai, but it took him double that time—80 days—to win forgiveness for the Jewish people after the Sin of the Golden Calf. 

But when Moses finally returned from the mountain on Yom Kippur, the new set of tablets that he brought with him was greater than the first. The second set was carved from the depths of pain and demonstrated hope after loss—the second set was indestructible.

This teaches us that it takes much more effort to rebuild a relationship after it is broken than to build it in the first place. But when we succeed, the new structure is much stronger and it can never be broken again.

Yom Kippur, which is only two days away, is the holiest day of the year because it is the birthday of the single most important ingredient in life—hope. The hope that there is healing after loss, that there is rebirth after destruction, that we can always rebuild what was broken and make it stronger than ever before.

And Yom Kippur teaches us how we can achieve all of this—by connecting to G-d, to immortality.

This is the ultimate message that we have to share with the world as we become more and more aware that we live in a period of time when the ultimate battle between good and evil is being waged. Into this battle we can carry the message of Yom Kippur:

"Everything is possible. With persistence you can overcome any challenge and adversary. Put your faith and hope in G-d because good can and will prevail."

The Shabbat of the Ten Days of Teshuvah each year repeats this message in the words of the Torah portion read at that time:

Be strong and brave. Do not be afraid or feel insecure before them , because G-d is the One who is going with you, and He will not fail you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Ask yourself: Do you feel hopeful for yourself and for the world? Do you allow yourself to get resigned?
  •  Exercise for the day:- Inspire someone who feels broken. Give him/her hope.
    - Meditate on the words of the Torah portion quoted above.

Excerpt from 60 Days: A Spiritual Guide to the High Holidays, by Simon Jacobson. ©Copyright The Meaningful Life Center, 2012. All rights

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