YOM KIPPUR: Discovering goodness

The story of the 13 attributes of mercy is told in the Book of Exodus.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
September 13, 2018 16:31
3 minute read.
 PAINTING by the Polish artist Maurycy Gottlieb c. 1878, titled ‘Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yo

PAINTING by the Polish artist Maurycy Gottlieb c. 1878, titled ‘Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur.’. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
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he holiest day of the year is approaching – Yom Kippur – the day when we fast, purify ourselves and pray. Let us examine the essence of this sacred day and its signifi- cance in the Jewish yearly cycle. How is Yom Kippur supposed to influence a person’s life throughout the year? What can we take with us from Yom Kippur that can stay with us all year long and help us move forward in our personal journey? There is something we say repeatedly on Yom Kippur. Over and over again, we recite it together as a call to God and to ourselves – the 13 attributes of mercy.

The story of the 13 attributes of mercy is told in the Book of Exodus. Several months after the Exodus from Egypt, the nation experienced an event that occurred only once in all of history: a public revelation of God before the entire nation. This event, Ma’amad Har Sinai, the Revelation at Mount Sinai, marked the beginning of the Torah being given to the Jewish nation.

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