DEDICATED IN LOVING MEMORY OF ISAAC GAMEL ז''ל BY HIS FAMILY

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Length: 1 hour 5 minutes
There are three distinct parts of our prayers on Yom Kippur that unite when we try to explore the depth of what we are doing on Yom Kippur. We say Viduy, confessing our sins, and repeatedly mention the 13 middos (attributes) of Hashem as part of the selichos prayers, and describe the avodah (service) of the Kohen Gadol in the Beis Hamikdash. On the original Yom Kippur, Hashem granted forgiveness to Bnei Yisroel through His 13 attributes of mercy which He showed to Moshe, who was our messenger, similar to the Kohen Gadol who is our messenger in later times. When we invoke the 13 attributes of Mercy, we come to know Hashem, enabling us to have a close relationship and renewed connection with Him.
Length: 13 minutes
When Hashem judges us on Rosh Hashana, He is not simply passing strict judgement on us. Because He is our creator, He is invested in us and does not want to destroy us. The King of Ninveh taught this lesson to his people by making them remove stolen beams from their houses, so that they should understand the pain of harming something that you have invested in. May we be worthy of Hashem’s investing in us, and work to make our actions proper, in line with Hashem wants from us.
Length: 52 minutes
Yom Kippur is a time when we stand before Hashem like malachim. This is in contrast to Shavuos, when we celebrate receiving the Torah specifically because we are humans, not malachim. When Moshe went up to receive the Torah, the malachim gave him gifts, the most precious of which was the ketores, the secret of stopping the malach hamaves (angel of death). The ketores is central to the avodah on Yom Kippur. Adam’s sin brought death into the world through four senses, but the sense of smell was not involved. The sense of smell connects us to a reality that we cannot touch, something higher and finer, helping us to connect to the spiritual and our relationship with Hashem.
Length: 50 minutes
When we repeat the viduy out loud, we sing it together in a beautiful song. Although it seems strange to be singing a confession, we can learn about the reason from the song of Parshas Haazinu. In Ha’azinu, the song contains descriptions of punishment and difficulty, but it is surrounded with the acknowledgement that Hashem’s ways are perfect and just. When we sing the viduy, we are reaffirming our emunah is Hashem’s righteousness, understanding that everything He does is good for us, and our sins are what makes us unworthy.
Length: 1 hour
We read Maftir Yonah towards the end of the day on Yom Kippur. The yonah, dove, symbolizes the forgiveness and ability to start anew. We discuss the difference between the Yonah Hanavi and Eliyahu Hanavi, contrasting the tough love and din of the orev (raven) with the softness of the dove. Eliyahu Hanavi called for the din, of Hashem in stopping the rain, and Yonah was upset that Hashem acted toward Ninveh with mercy. On Yom Kippur, Hashem shows us the love of the yonah, acting with a mercy for our sins.
Length: 56 minutes
When we do teshuva, we are expressing our desire to re-commit to Hashem, choosing actions that will enable us to lead a life according to the Torah. Expressing charatah (regret) is making the choice to redefine life according to what Hashem wants, and the desire alone is already considered as an action. Therefore, someone who does teshuva out of love will have his aveiros changes to mitzvos, as his returning expresses a tremendous ratzon (desire) to connect to Hashem.
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