For Yom Kippur: “On this day, it is our privilege to be alive…”

“The daily whisper of mortality grows to a roar on this holiest day. While we pray to be granted one more year we look around the synagogue. Some who were there last year, for many years past, are no longer with us. The empty seat or the new occupant brings the shock of unpleasant recognition: One day, each person knows, she or he will be that missing worshiper.

Judaism asks us to grasp both ends: We know we will die, and therefore should savor all that life offers. Our time is given vividness and urgency by being limited. Love is more precious knowing the sun will set…

…To live with an awareness of death is to live in gratitude for the realization that we are passing through. At moments it feels like we have forever. Yet we know it is not so. Yom Kippur arrives to remind us that time is limited. We beat our chests, the Jewish defibrillation, to revive our hearts, to awaken ourselves to our own swift passage. Today, though, on this day, it is our privilege to be alive. Let us repent, renew and live the time we are lucky to have with vividness, brio, goodness and in gratitude to God.”

– Rabbi David Wolpe. Read the rest. 


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