Yom Kippur

October 11, 2016

I’m something of a minimalist when it comes to Jewish observance and prayer. As my late mother of blessed memory used to say ” so long as its clean, kosher and paid for”.

I like to keep things simple. Less is more. No raising the voice, gesticulating or grand gestures.

The Rambam writes that the minimum viddui ( confession) is just three words: Aval Anachnu Chatanu ( My mother couldn’t read Hebrew so said them in English….but we have sinned).

But, the word Aval here cannot mean but. You can’t start a sentence like that. It means, indeed. Indeed we have sinned.

It reminds us of Yosef’s brothers who said: aval anachnu ashaimim al achinu. Indeed, we are guilty over our brother. One of the first confessions in the Torah.

What is it that causes us to sin?

It’s the word “aval” but…

It’s fifty shades of excuses. But I haven’t got time to study Torah. But I haven’t got enough money to give to charity.
But, I didn’t mean to do it. But, but, but…..

Yom Kippur wipes the slate clean of sins between man and God but we have to really decide to do better from now onwards. No more excuses. We need to grow spiritually or stagnate and die.

Wishing you a meaningful fast.

Rabbi Wise


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