A Drash for Yom Kippur
by Marc Mangel
Usually, we think of Yom Kippur as a day of great reverence and seriousness. I propose that we should also think of it as a day of celebration. It is a day in which we celebrate God’s greatest gift to us: Our ability to be different.
We can change in our relationship to ourselves – by stopping both unreasonable expectations for ourselves and flimsy excuses when we don’t do things that we should. We can treat ourselves with respect.
We can change our relationship with others by always striving to see the Godliness in them and by recognizing that we never know what is in the heart of somebody else.
We should not not judge because we might judged. We should not judge because that is not the way to relate to others.
We can change our relationship to God by seeing mitzvot not as obligations and duties but as opportunities. Mitzvot are the opportunities for creating a dwelling place for God in this world.
Each of us is on a different spiritual path, to be sure. But whatever our path, we hope it will be more productive at the end of these Days of Awe.
To increase the productivity of our Jewish (and secular lives) let us choose to change. We can change our relationships to ourselves, to other people, and to God – because today is THE day of celebration of our ability to change for the better.