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Living on Auto-Pilot - Acharei Mos

Last week, I celebrated my birthday. Birthdays are a great time to acknowledge another year of life. It's a time to reflect on the past year or even one's whole life and think about all the positive moments and areas of improvement to constructively move forward and become a better person. Although I must admit that I didn't take the time to do all of the above-mentioned reflections, it still sounds like a good idea theoretically. 😊

In this week’s parsha, we read about another auspicious day similar to my birthday, Yom Kippur. On Yom Kippur, the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) is allowed to enter the innermost chamber of the Bais Hamikdash. This is a remarkable feat because no one else is able to do this, to the extreme that when people tried entering and offering incense they died trying.

Yom Kippur has always seemed interesting to me. It appears that it's common for people to wait until this one day each year to say all their prayers and ask for forgiveness in order to start anew. Birthdays seem to follow a similar pattern - we go through the year without reflecting on our experiences just to reflect for a few short moments (usually when I realize that I am another year older).

I have found that although Yom Kippur has an elevated level of holiness, our relationship and awareness of spirituality can continue throughout the year. The same is true with birthdays. We can experience and reflect in real time! Let's stop living on autopilot and cherish life's valuable moments. This week, I encourage everyone to join me as I take a few moments of physical, mental, and spiritual reflection. By doing so, when our next birthday and Yom Kippur come around, reflection will be something that constantly happens, not something saved for a few short hours!

Good Shabbos

All the best

Avroham Y Ross

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