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Yom Kippur Thoughts

10 Tishri 5773 – September 25, 2012
Yom Kipper, the Day of Atonement, is the supreme moment of Jewish time, a day of fasting and prayer, introspection and self-judgment. At no other time are we so sharply conscious of standing before God, of being known by Him. But it begins in the strangest of ways.

Carrying Both Pain And Faith

25 Elul 5772 – September 12, 2012
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a kind of clarion call, a summons to the Ten Days of Penitence that culminate in the Day of Atonement. The Torah calls it “the day when the horn is sounded,” and its central event is the sounding of the shofar.

A Family Torn Asunder

7 Av 5772 – July 25, 2012
Last week I shared a tragic letter of family disintegration. What could have been a most beautiful mishpachah was torn asunder by one son and his wife who decided to sever all relationships with their siblings. Despite all the efforts on the part of the parents and the siblings, this son and his spouse remained refused to be reconciled. When simchas came – births, bar mitzvahs, weddings – the parents were invited but never the siblings. To add insult to injury the parents were treated disrespectfully on all of these occasions.

An Unforgettable Rosh Hashanah

15 Heshvan 5772 – November 12, 2011
Last Rosh Hashanah 5771, I walked with a heavy heart to the small synagogue in the hospital at Tel Hashomer. Two and a half months had passed since my son David’s terrible accident, and he was still unconscious. The doctors remained split. Some tried to explain that this type of injury did not leave room for optimism. The days, weeks and months that passed seemed to wither our hope.

Atonement: Getting It Right

7 Tishri 5772 – October 5, 2011
The newborn is far from shy about letting its feelings be known as it is thrust, against its will, into a frigid and foreign world. With flailing hands and pitiful wails, its displeasure is made amply clear. Which raises the question: Since the soul does not choose to spend time on this planet, is it fair that it is held accountable for the way it goes about living its life here on earth?

A Timeless Message

28 Elul 5771 – September 27, 2011
Yom Kippur approaches and memories crowd my mind. I see my saintly father, HaRav HaGaon Avraham HaLevi Jungreis, zt"l. I see his holy countenance; I see his beautiful face, upon which the Shechinah rested. I hear his voice - a voice that penetrated the heart. Those who heard it never forgot it.

A Kol Nidre Story

12 Heshvan 5771 – October 20, 2010
This past Yom Kippur, my father, an 84-year-old Holocaust survivor, surprised our family by recounting a wartime Kol Nidre observance that stirred his soul.

The Yom Kippur Miracle

My treasured parents loved Yiddishkeit. Their belief in Hashem was unwavering. My darling Daddy used to tell me that if I was ever afraid, I should recite the Shema. Whenever I was troubled, my precious Mommy would reassure me, "Gott vet helfen!" (God will help!).

Purim And Yom Kippur: An Odd Couple?

10 Adar 5770 – February 24, 2010
On their face, there could not be two more unlikely holidays to wed than Yom Kippur and Purim. Even the youngest child knows that Purim is a holiday meant for fun and celebration, for costumes and parties. Yom Kippur, on the other hand, is the most solemn day of the Jewish calendar, calling on us engage in deep, somber introspection as we search for forgiveness and atonement. How different they are!

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