It’s known to most as Judaism’s “holiest day of the year,” but what exactly does that mean? Why is it so “holy”?
The answer lies in what the word “holy” means in Hebrew. The word Kadosh/קדוש, has allusions to ideas of being separate and different. And in that regard, the Day of Atonement is different than any other day on the Jewish calendar: we fast, we reserve it for prayer and introspection, and we don’t engage in anything pleasurable that would distract us from that objective.
In a nutshell, Yom Kippur is holy because it’s the day in which we are supposed to take stock of our entire year, and pledge to become a better person. This day is all about being real and vulnerable, and not the time to fool ourselves. The day was designed to be the “real deal” of reflection and making amends. Of course every day of the year should be used for reflection, but this day holds a special energy to remedy, atone, and forgive. As the Talmud explains: ”the essence of the day is forgiveness.”
Enjoy this iconic Yom Kippur prayer, Avinu Malkeinu, performed by Barbra Streisand
Please join us for a meaningful service on this very holy day.