web analytics
May 27, 2015 / 9 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Death, Life And Hope

        It is Sunday, the day after Yom Kippur and everyone you speak to says, “Thank G-d it’s over.” Just days earlier, the collective mood was comparable to what people feel when faced with a root canal – resignation over something unavoidable that you can’t wait to get over with. Very few would view Yom Kippur as a Yom Tov – a day of simcha.


 


         But it is. Even though it can be challenging physically, Yom Kippur is a priceless gift from Hashem, for it is the one day in the year that gives genuine hope to the desperate and the despairing.

 

         I myself didn’t understand the brachah of the Day of Atonement until I was well into my 20s. Like everyone else, I “endured” the day as a necessary component of being Jewish – something to get through while I daydreamed of the hot coffee and cookies I would drink and eat (guilt-free because I had fasted all day).

 

          But one day years ago, just a few days after Rosh Hashanah, my world came crashing down due to circumstances beyond my control, related to an “out-of-left-field” ruling by a secular court. Being young and unaware of how the legal system works, I had no idea if I would ever find relief from the nightmare that had enveloped me. I did not know when the matter would be resolved – if ever, and the ensuing minutes, hours and days were filled with heart-pounding anxiety, breath-robbing dread, and worse of all – bleak hopelessness.

 

         And then it was Erev Yom Kippur, and I went to shul and I started to daven, and for the first time in a week, I felt a warm calmness slowly ripple throughout my being, melting the cold, iciness that had gripped my heart. A seed of hope has been planted and by the next morning, as I continued to daven, it slowly sprouted and filled my soul with soothing optimism.

 

         For I had begun to realize that while the secular court was unapproachable – (you just can’t walk in and ask to see the judge) there was a way to right the wrong that had destroyed my tranquility and regain my peace of mind that had been so unexpectedly shattered.


 


         For on Yom Kippur, we are all given the gift of appeal and what had devastated my world could be overturned. For me, and others involved in legal proceedings, it didn’t matter what an earthly court had decreed. In my mother’s case, and that of all other cholim, it was irrelevant what the medical doctor had stated; for the infertile couples, the destitute, the stricken, and the lost – the opinions,” proclamations and declarations of the “experts” had no value. All “facts,” “realities” and “truths” are determined by the Creator of the Universe and the quantity – and quality – of our years, is set by the Heavenly Judge.

 

         Who will live and who will die – who will have his life cut short and who will live their full lifespan. Who will have tranquil lives and whose lives will be stressful and unsettled. All is in Hashem’s hands. And in His Infinite Mercy, He has given us an opportunity to “fix” what is “broken” in our lives.

 

        Ultimately, we may or may not get the relief we so desperately seek. Hashem in His Wisdom, that is beyond the ability of mere mortals to comprehend, does not always alleviate our tzorres – but that is notreally the point. What counts is that we are given a day that leaves us with hope.

 

         We are given a 25-hour period to reflect on our lives, become more aware of our flaws, frailties and shortcomings – and to improve ourselves. Self-awareness is a necessary first step to self-improvement. As we become more aware of our weaknesses – in both our physical and spiritual selves, we get a heightened sense of Hashem’s omnipotence – and His power to give us relief.

 

         We are like little children who, once they learn to walk, think there is no limit to what they can do for themselves – until they fall, and in pain, run to their Totty to “fix” their “boo-boo.” How reassuring for them to know there is a loving and powerful father to run to for help. Just the knowledge of his presence sustains them.

 

         And Yom Kippur sustains us. It is the day that stops us in our tracks and makes us remember that we have Someone to go when we are in pain. Someone who can rescue us from our mistakes – or the mistakes of others.

 

         In my case, the horrific situation that had caused me such anguish eventually was resolved and is gathering dust in a subterranean storage area deep in the recesses of my memory. However I have never forgotten the soothing sweetness of hope that suffused my sorry heart on that Day Of Appeal so long ago. For me, Yom Kippur will always be a Yom Tov - a day of goodness to be embraced and cherished and welcomed, all the days of my life.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Death, Life And Hope”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat being carried in a rally last winter.
PLO Blows Up Netanyahu’s ‘Peace Process’ Renewal
Latest Sections Stories
Road sign in Russian and Yiddish greeting visitors on the road just outside Birobidzhan. (photo by Ben G. Frank)

Birobidzhan railway station sign is the world’s only one spelling the town’s name in Yiddish letters

Ayelet Shaked

She’s seen as a poster child for The Jewish Home’s efforts to reach beyond its Orthodox base.

Teens-Twenties-logo

Girls don’t usually learn Gemara. Everyone knows that.

Lewis-052215-Jewish-Soldiers-logo

Mordechai and his men shared a strong mutual loyalty.

“Can I wear tefillin in the bathroom?” That was the question US Private Nuchim Lebensohn wrote to Mike Tress, president of the Agudath Israel Youth Council, in a letter dated November 18, 1942. Lebensohn was not your typical young American GI. Polish by birth, he was forty-three years old and married when he was drafted […]

To what extent is your child displaying defiance?

This therapist kept focusing on how “I could do better,” never on how we could make the marriage work.

Mistrust that has lingered after the fiasco in Ferguson, Missouri, has edged the issue forward.

“The observance of a kosher diet is a key tenet of Judaism, and one which no state has the right to deny,” said Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy of the Orthodox Union.

Two weeks of intense learning in the classroom about Israel culminated with Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Students attended sessions with their teachers and learned about history, culture, military power, advocacy, slang, cooking, and more.

The nations of the world left the vessel to sit rotting in the water during one of the coldest winters in decades and with its starving and freezing passengers abandoned.

Rabbi Yisroel Edelman, the synagogue’s spiritual leader, declared, “The Young Israel of Deerfield Beach is looking forward to our partnership with the OU. The impact the OU has brought to Jewish communities throughout the country through its outreach and educational resources is enormous and we anticipate the same for our community in Deerfield Beach as well.”

Our goal here is to offer you recipes that you can make on Yom Tov with ingredients you might just have in the house. Enjoy and chag sameach!

More Articles from Cheryl Kupfer
Kupfer-On-Our-Own-NEW

The message being conveyed is that without “flour,” without the means to support oneself and one’s family, one’s focus on Torah will be impeded by worry.

Kupfer-112114

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

Not knowing any better, I assumed that Molly and her mother must be voracious readers.

Unpleasant happenings are quickly discarded if they do not affect us directly.

I have always insisted that everything that happens to anyone or anything is min Shamayim.

It is so hurtful to heighten people’s sense of inadequacy and guilt in a matzav that is already horrendous and difficult to bear.

Make no mistake: in the wrong hands cars are weapons of mass destruction.

Where once divorce in heimische communities was relatively uncommon, nowadays every family has a son, daughter, sibling cousin who is divorced – sometimes twice or even three times!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/death-life-and-hope/2007/09/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: