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Our Wedding Anniversary

Friday, 4 October, 2019 - 3:19 pm

Many wonder why the day of atonement happens specifically ten days into the new year and are surprised to discover that Yom Kippur commemorates a historical event that occured 3,331 years ago connected to communal atonement.

After the Giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai on Shavuot, Moshe ascended the mountain and spent forty days and nights learning the entire Torah from G-d. He descended on the fortieth day holding the Two Tablets engraved with the Ten Commandments. These precious stones, crafted by G-d, were the embodiment of the divine pact between G-d and the Jewish people which had taken effect forty days earlier.

Due to a series of unfortunate events, the Jews crafted a golden calf and served it as a deity, in direct violation of the commandment “Thou shalt not serve any other gods.” Witnessing the obscene idolatry going on the morning he returned, Moshe smashed the holy tablets to smithereens.

G-d was very angry and threatened to annihilate the entire nation and start a new one from Moshe’s descendants. For forty days Moshe stood on Mt. Sinai pleading for mercy until G-d rescinded the decree. He was then instructed to prepare a new set of tablets, bring them up to Mt. Sinai and G-d inscribed the Ten Commandments once again.

In total, Moshe spent three sets of forty days on Mt. Sinai communicating with G-d. If you calculate the dates, it turns out that Moshe descended Mt. Sinai with the second set of tablets on Yom Kippur. On that day G-d forgave the Jewish people for the grievous sin of the Golden Calf, setting the precedent for Teshuva (repentance). No sin is unforgivable and Yom Kippur is the national day of Teshuva, the day that G-d and the Jewish People make amends for all the negative baggage that may have accumulated throughout the past year.

The Talmud describes Yom Kippur as the true marriage between G-d and the Jewish people and the second set of tablets are the eternal marriage contract between us. These tablets remain intact until today, enduring thousands of years of history with all of its ups and downs.

Our marriage with G-d endures because it was reinforced and cemented after the greatest betrayal. Once our marriage survived the Golden Calf it can survive everything, and that’s why no Jew will ever be truly lost. This is why Yom Kippur is the day every Jew feels the need to connect and we must enable this connection to manifest itself in a meaningful and healthy manner.

Everyone talks about the once-a-year Jews, but there is a vast majority that don’t know how to express their Jewishness even on Yom Kippur.

Make the effort to reach out to a friend or acquaintance you feel may need some encouragement, and invite them to join you for services on Yom Kippur. This is the greatest and most meaningful way to approach G-d on the holiest day of the year: Bringing home His long lost children for their wedding anniversary.

 

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