Yom Kippur is preparing us for the Final Redemption.
We are beginning a year of Shemittah, a year in which we will leave the material world to fend for itself, a year in which we renounce ownership of the land and proclaim a Shabbos for the Land of Israel. It is a spiritual year, because it forces us to separate from the earth upon which we tread and which we think we “own.”
Sehmittah teaches us that our sustenance, instead of arising from the earth, really descends from Heaven. Thus, in fact, we are like angels. Material things are controlled by the force of gravity and their natural direction is down. But to the extent that we are Torah People, we rise like angels on spiritual wings toward the Ruler of the Universe.
Yom Kippur teaches us how to return to our essential nature, which is to ascend toward God. To that extent we will rise above the demented behavior that dominates the world. As the wisest of men, King Solomon, wrote in Ecclesiastes: “Futility of futilities, said Koheles…all is futile. What profit does man have for all his labor which he toils beneath the sun?”
What conclusion does Koheles draw?
“The sum of the matter, when all has been considered: Fear God and keep His commandments, for that is man’s whole duty. For God will judge every deed – even everything hidden – whether good or evil.”
May we all be sealed in the Book of Life.