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The Social Craze
We live in a digital era. With every new upgrade of your mobile and shrinking of an I-pad, you are expected to become more and more available to, well, everyone. If you do not tweet, you do not exist. If your wall on Facebook is not bombarded with statuses and replies, your friends tag you as temporarily irrelevant. If you don’t answer every time your mobile rings, your spouse may frown at you for not answering exactly when he or she needed to know whether to buy more cheese at the supermarket. We are required to remain constantly updated and responsive to millions of stimulations all the time.
I Need My Peace and Quiet, Please!
That is why there is no wonder it is very hard to find a single moment of complete peace and silence – a true moment of coming into oneself, gazing within and talking to G-d quietly. That is why it is hard to find a moment when the silence is disturbed only by your words of prayer and only you and your prayers fill the entire space surrounding you.
The Gift of Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) allows me just that: the quiet, undisturbed moment in which I can truly be myself without distraction. The silence required for speaking with G-d from the bottom of my heart is finally here. I am grateful for Yom Kippur because of that. I get the break I need from my fast-paced life to find the words, my own private words and call to G-d.
Fasting? I think it is mostly a setting – preparing the stage for the true connection we are all trying to achieve with Him. We want to hear him answer back. We want to interpret His language of signs and symbols and understand what He wants from us. Not eating only helps us focus on the spiritual instead of the corporeal. Like they say, we are not physical beings who have spiritual experiences; we are spiritual beings who have physical experiences.
The Quiet State (Located Somewhere between Earth and the Heavens)
Wouldn’t we all want to go and live there, in the quiet state? Achieving this quiet state is quite similar to what those of us who meditate experience.
When I succeed in connecting, something in me feels extremely centered. I consider it my own personal triumph. Mind over matter. A sensation of well-being and wholeness envelops me. I actually feel safe and well cared for. Most of my questions are answered. I suddenly discover realms of accepting patience for those questions that are not. I am guided by Him and He has a plan for me. His plan is right. I am right. Everything is right and I feel so very much alive.
Although praying to G-d requires silence and is very personal and private as far as I am concerned, there is something about the togetherness of Yom Kippur which amplifies all intentions. Everybody is fasting, everybody is in the process of connecting with G-d, everybody allows for that quiet state to take hold of them. Everybody is trying to bring out the best in them. All of us meet in prayer together. We then say the same words. We beg for forgiveness for our sins. We wear those white clothes – separating the sacred from the mundane, the holy from the rest. I feel a part of the People. I feel I belong. I connect to the common roots we all stem from. I feel rooted again and connected to my source. I hold on to that feeling.
In the Holy Land
Here in the Holy Land the silence takes over as cars stop driving on Yom Kippur. Shops and entertainment centers close and there are no official TV or radio broadcasts for the entire duration of the Holiday. We walk together to the synagogues where communal prayers are taking place. We do our best not to speak about vain every day matters and focus on connecting with G-d.
We hope that you settle yourself in the quiet state this Yom Kippur and wish that you achieve your own personal triumph in connecting with Him. May your prayers be heard. May we separate truth from a lie. May we keep finding light as darkness grows in the world. May we live to see the day His Kingdom comes. Amen.
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