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Transforming Guilt into Authentic Connection - Yom Kippur

The holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are a time for reflection, introspection, and connection with the creator of the world. However, this experience is challenging for me. Instead of reflecting, I end up feeling guilty and disconnected. In addition to this, I struggle with sitting in shul for extended periods. There isn’t much activity compared to my everyday life, and often I don’t understand or connect with the prayers.

This year, I decided to take a different approach. Instead of following the Hebrew prayers, I exclusively read the English translations. It was a simple shift, but it made a world of difference. For the first time, I truly understood what everyone was reading. I focused solely on the tunes instead of counting how many pages were left. While I didn't necessarily feel inspired, I felt content and connected authentically. After my Rosh Hashana experience, a tinge of guilt crept in. I wondered if I had failed to fulfill the traditional Rosh Hashanah experience. But then, I realized the essence of these holidays isn't about adhering to a specific ritual; it's about connecting with your inner self and faith meaningfully.

As we approach Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, it's important to remember that this day is all about introspection. It's about looking inward, assessing our actions, seeking forgiveness, and looking toward the new year with a fresh perspective. My journey has shown me that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to spirituality. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur don’t need to be about conforming to tradition. They can be an opportunity to connect with your faith in a way that feels meaningful to you. I hope you will have the courage to join me in finding your unique way to engage with the day, introspect, and seek a real connection.

Good Shabbos

All the best

Avroham Yehudah Ross

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