Your Yom Kippur Guide
Tishrei 10, 5758
October 11, 1997
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Maimonides, Principles of the Faith, No. 12
Click here, to see pictures of the Rebbe
We are pleased to present, to the visually impaired and the blind, our weekly publication, Living With Moshiach.
In this week's issue we focus on the laws of the upcoming High Holiday of Yom Kippur, which begins on Friday evening, October 10.
Therefore, we present here "Your Yom Kippur Guide,"* and other related material about Yom Kippur.
We take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very sweet, happy, healthy and successful new year.
It is our fervent hope that our learning about Moshiach and the Redemption will hasten the coming of Moshiach, NOW!
Rabbi Yosef Y. Shagalov,
Committee for the Blind
29 Elul, 5757
Brooklyn, New York
*. Published by Prestige Litho.
There is a unique quality and preeminence of teshuvah [lit., return; colloquially, repentance] in that it enables a person to rectify completely all that should have been achieved throughout the past, in matters of Torah and mitzvot--"with one 'turn' and in one moment."
On reflection, it can easily be seen that, all things added up, the world contains more quantity (materiality) than quality (spirituality), and more by far. Indeed, the more corporeal and gross a thing is, the greater is the quantity in which it is found. Thus, for example, the world of inanimate, (inorganic) matter is much greater in volume than the vegetable kingdom, and the latter is quantitatively greater than the animal kingdom, which, in turn, surpasses by far, in quantity, the highest of the four kingdoms, mankind (the "speaking" creature). Similarly, in the human body: the lowest extremities, the legs, are larger in size than the rest of the body, and the latter is much greater in bulk than the head, wherein are located the organs of speech and the senses of smell, hearing and sight, as well as the intellect, etc., which animate the entire body and direct all its activities.
On further reflection, a person might also become disheartened, G-d forbid, wondering how is one to fulfill adequately one's real purpose in life on this earth, which is, to quote our Sages, "I was created to serve my Creator"--seeing that most of one's time is necessarily taken up with materialistic things, such as eating and drinking, sleeping, earning a livelihood, etc. What with the fact that the earliest years of a human being, before reaching maturity and knowledgeability, are spent in an entirely materialistic mode of living.
The answer is, first of all, that even the so-called materialistic preoccupations of the daily life must not become purely materialistic and animal-like, for we have to be always mindful of the imperative, "Let all your doings be for the sake of Heaven," and "Know Him (G-d) in all your ways."
This means that also in carrying out the activities that are connected with the physical and material aspects of life (which, as mentioned, take up the greater part of a person's time), a human being must know that those material aspects are not an end in themselves, but they are, and must serve as, the means to attain to the higher, spiritual realm of life, namely, G-dliness. In this way, he permeates all those materialistic-physical aspects with spiritual content, and utilizes them for spiritual purposes. Thus, all these mundane, and in themselves trivial matters, are elevated to their proper role, perfection and spirituality.
But in addition to the above, there is also the unique effectiveness of teshuvah, which has the power to transform--"with one 'turn' and in one moment"--the whole past--the very materiality of it into spirituality.
Time is, of course, not measured simply by duration, but by its content in terms of achievement. Thus, in evaluating time there are vast differences in terms of content, and, hence, in real worth, of a minute, an hour, etc. Suffice it to mention, by way of example, that one cannot compare an hour of prayer and outpouring of the soul before G-d with an hour of sleep. And to use the analogy of coins, there may be coins of identical size and shape, yet differing in their intrinsic value, depending upon whether they are made of copper, silver or gold.
With all the opportunities that G-d provides for a person to fill his time with the highest content, there is the most wonderful gift from "G-d who does wonders" of the extraordinary quality of teshuvah, transcending all limitations, including the limitations of time, so that "in one moment" it transforms the whole past, to the degree of absolute perfection in quality and spirituality.
The Al-mighty has also ordained especially favorable times for teshuvah, at the end of each year and the beginning of the new year, together with the assurance that everyone, man or woman, who resolves to do teshuvah--can accomplish it "in one moment."
By transforming the quantity of the materiality in the past into meritorious quality, spirituality and holiness; and at the same time preparing for the future, in the coming year and thereafter, in a proper manner, through Torah and mitzvot in the everyday life, a person elevates himself/herself and also the environment at large to the highest possible level of spirituality and holiness. This makes the material world a fitting abode for G-d, blessed be He.
The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of Lubavitch, issued a call that "The time of our Redemption has arrived!" and "Moshiach is on his way!"
The Rebbe stressed that he is saying this as a prophecy, and asks us all to prepare ourselves for the Redemption, through increasing acts of goodness and kindness.
Let us all heed the Rebbe's call.
The days immediately preceding and following Rosh HaShanah are the time dedicated to sincere introspection and a careful and honest examination of the record of the outgoing year, with a view to the proper deductions and resolutions that are to regulate one's personal daily life, as well as that of his home, and all his affairs in the year to come.
Moreover, these are exceptionally propitious days, days permeated with the core of the Psalm: "Search my inwardness; Thy inner essence, G-d, do I seek." They call and demand:
Search for the innermost and the profound within you; seek out also the inwardness of everything around you, the soul of the universe; search for and bring to light the G-dliness that animates and pervades the world!
Both aspects--the honest self-appraisal and the search for the inner essence of things--are interrelated and interdependent.
In evaluating the results of the outgoing year, one is very prone to err by taking into account only the external, both in himself and in the environment. In doing so, one is on equally treacherous grounds in regard to setting the pattern of daily living in the year to come.
To forestall this misleading approach, these auspicious days sound their message and challenge:
Do not sell yourself short! Do not underestimate your capacities and abilities!
For no matter what your spiritual "stock-in-trade" is, your "visible assets"--the existing possibilities that you have to conduct your life in accordance with the teachings of our Torah; no matter how formidable is your strength of character and your ability to cope with a frustrating environment, and with undaunted perseverance to follow your path of Torah and mitzvot--
Much greater and richer are your "hidden reserves" of powers to create new possibilities, and of inner qualities giving you the ability to overcome obstacles and to shape your life and the life around you to be in harmony with Truth and Goodness.
In order to reveal and apply these powers, however, it is necessary that you search for and release your potential forces. But you are promised: "You will discover--because you will search with all your heart and soul."
What has been said above is more especially and more fully applicable to those who occupy positions of spiritual leadership and influence, from the rabbi of the community down to the individual parents who set the pace of the spiritual life of their household and family.
All too often do we see them stymied by doubt and fear, afraid to use, what seem to them, a strong word or excessive demand lest they might alienate, instead of attract.
To them these days address themselves with this message and challenge:
Search inwardly: seek deeply and you will unravel the innermost treasures of those whom you would lead and inspire; evaluate them not externally, but according to their inner resources, according to the capacity of their soul, the veritable spark of G-d-liness from Above.
For with the right approach and by indefatigable effort you will be able to uncover and activate in everyone his inner spiritual resources, so that they begin to animate his daily life.
The Ten Days of teshuvah (repentance), which begin with the two days of Rosh HaShanah and continue through their culmination, the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, are the ten days of the inauguration of the new year. Between these three solemn days of the year we are given a period of seven days, containing every day of the week; one Sunday, one Monday, and so forth. This complete week, neither more nor less, is given to us to enable us to atone and repent for any wrong deeds accounted for during the previous year, and to better our way of life in the new year. That we have been given a complete week in which to accomplish this is significant: Spending Sunday of this week as we should, and making the most of the time, serves as a repentance and atonement especially for all the wrong done on all the Sundays of the previous year; the same may be done on the Monday of this week for all the Mondays of the past year, and so on.
However, repentance implies two essential conditions: regret for the past and resolution for the future. Therefore, this seven-day period is also a means of planned preparation for the forthcoming year. On the Sunday of this week we should think in particular of bettering the Sundays of the upcoming new year. This will give us the strength and ability to carry out and fulfill our obligations on the Sundays to come. Likewise, with regard to all the other days of this as regards the forthcoming year.
By considering only ourselves, however, we would deal with just a part of our obligations. As I have emphasized many times in the past, one should not and must not be content with leading a proper Jewish life personally, in one's own home and family. One must recognize and fulfill one's obligation to the environment by influencing others in it to adhere to the Torah and to its precepts. This duty is particularly required of youth, on whom G-d has bestowed an extra measure of natural energy, enabling them to become leaders, particularly among their own youth groups, and to inspire others in the ways of our Torah and Torah-true way of life.
I hope and pray that everyone of you will become a leader and source of positive influence in your environment, leading Jews, and Jewish youth in particular, to a true Jewish life, a life of happiness, a life in which its spiritual and material aspects are properly balanced. Such perfect harmony of the spiritual and material can only be found in the Torah and mitzvot, and in the light of the Torah you will lead your colleagues and friends to true happiness.
Tues., Oct. 7, the sixth of Tishrei, marks the 33rd anniversary of the passing of Rebbetzin Chana Schneerson, mother of the Rebbe. What follows is a very brief biography of her amazing life.
Rebbetzin Chana Schneerson was born on the 28th of Tevet, 5640/1880, in Nikolaiev, a city near Odessa. In 1900, Rebbetzin Chana married the renowned scholar and kabbalist, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Schneerson. They had three sons, the eldest of whom was the Rebbe. The second son, Dov Ber, was killed by the Nazis and her youngest son, Yisroel Aryeh Leib, passed away in England in 1952.
In 1907, the couple moved to Yekatrinoslav (presently Dnepropetrovsk), where Rabbi Levi Yitzchok had been appointed to the prestigious post of Rav of this major Jewish community. For all practical purposes he was the spiritual leader of the entire Jewish population of the Ukraine.
Throughout the 32 years that her husband served as Rabbi of Yekatrinoslav, Rebbetzin Chana stood at his side, assisting in his holy work. The Rebbetzin had a good rapport with the members of their sophisticated congregation, and she communicated especially well with Jewish university students, in whom she took special interest, befriending them and trying her best to imbue them with the spirit of Torah.
In 1939, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok was arrested because of his energetic work to preserve religious observance; a year later, he was exiled to a small village in the Republic of Kazakhstan. When Rebbetzin Chana learned of her husband's location, she joined him, paying no heed to the difficulties and danger involved.
Rebbetzin Chana made a valuable spiritual contribution to her husband, one from which the entire Jewish people benefited. Her son, the Rebbe, described this special contribution: "In the remote Russian village where my father was exiled, there was no ink available. After my mother was permitted to join him, she gathered various herbs in the fields, and by soaking them made a sort of ink, which enabled my father to record his original Torah commentaries. My mother devoted her energies to this task despite their lack of even minimally sufficient amounts of bread and water."
Rabbi Levi Yitzchok passed away in exile in 1944. In 1947, Rebbetzin Chana succeeded, with tremendous difficulties, in emigrating from the Soviet Union. At the same time, she also managed to smuggle out her husband's writings at great danger to herself. Later that year she arrived safely in Paris where she was reunited with her eldest son, whom she had not seen for twenty years. The two traveled by ship to New York, where the Rebbetzin lived for the last seventeen years of her life.
Rebbetzin Chana passed away in the late afternoon on the Shabbat between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, the sixth of Tishrei, 5725/1964, at the age of 85.
* * *
In a talk following his mother's yahrtzeit, the Rebbe noted that all women named Chana share a connection to the first Chana.
The biblical Chana was a prophetess and the mother of one of our greatest prophets, Shmuel.
Chana was the wife of Elkanah, a Levite. Chana suffered greatly from the fact that she had no children. She vowed that if G-d granted her a child, she would consecrate him to service in the Sanctuary. Her ardent prayers were heard and she gave birth to Shmuel, who, at the age of two, was brought to live and study under the tutelage of the High Priest, Eli. Shmuel grew to become one of the greatest prophets of the Jewish people. The portion from the Book of Shmuel about Chana, her prayer and the birth of Shmuel are read as the Haftorah on the first day of Rosh HaShanah.
Two stories recounted by the Rebbe at gatherings in honor of his mother's yahrtzeit illustrate a fundamental concept.
The first anecdote took place when the Rebbe's father, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok, was in exile. Rebbetzin Chana ingeniously managed to produce different color inks from wild plants for Rabbi Levi Yitzchok to use in writing his Torah innovations, as he was not even afforded ink with which to write.
The second incident related by the Rebbe took place after Rabbi Levi Yitzchok's passing. Rebbetzin Chana miraculously succeeded in smuggling Rabbi Levi Yitzchok's writings out of Communist Russia.
The Rebbe explained that these two incidents teach us that when, by Divine Providence, a mission is given to an individual --even if that mission seems utterly futile or impossible--one's efforts will ultimately be crowned with success. Though one must work within the confines of nature, one must not be constricted by nature, for it is the infinite and supernatural G-d who has presented one with this mission.
As our Divinely appointed mission in these last moments of exile is to hasten the Redemption's arrival and prepare ourselves for the long-awaited Messianic Era, we can look to the prophetess Chana and her namesake, the Rebbetzin Chana, for inspiration.
And, as the Rebbe concluded a letter written on Rebbetzin Chana's yahrtzeit: "May G-d grant that everyone actively strive for the above, in accordance with the prayer of the prophetess Chana: 'My heart rejoices in G-d, my strength is uplifted through G-d... I rejoice in His help... and He will raise the horn of His Anointed one (Moshiach).'"
The Eve of Yom Kippur
On the day preceding Yom Kippur, on Friday, Oct. 10, in the early morning we do the Kapporos Service.(1)
Also, in the early afternoon, we eat festive meals, to demonstrate our faith and confidence in G-d's mercy.
Another beautiful custom for this day is that of parents blessing their children with the priestly benediction: "May G-d bless you and guard you. May G-d shine His countenance upon you and be gracious to you. May G-d turn His face toward you, and grant you peace."
Yom Kippur atones for sins against G-d, but not for wrongdoings between man and man. It is, therefore, important, on the day before Yom Kippur, to apologize and seek forgiveness from friends, relatives, and acquaintances, to heal any ill feelings that may have arisen.
1. Literally, kapporos means "atonement." Customarily on the eve of Yom Kippur, a man or boy takes in hand a rooster, a woman or girl takes a hen, and passes the fowl over the head three times while reciting a special prayer. The chicken is then ritually slaughtered and often given to the poor to use for their pre-Yom Kippur meal. The purpose of kapporos is to invoke sincere repentance through the thought that a similar fate as that awaiting the fowl might be due us for our sins, but through G-d's mercy and our true repentance it is averted.
The Custom of "Lekach"
There is a custom on the eve of Yom Kippur to eat "lekach"--honey cake. The reason for this custom is that honey cake is a sweet dessert. By eating it, we express our desire and hope that G-d will bless us with a sweet, pleasant, good year.
There is also a custom to give (and receive) honey cake. The reason for this is much less well known. When we receive honey cake from someone we do it with this thought in mind: Let the honey cake be the only thing this year that we have to take from someone else. Let us be self-sufficient, self-supporting, even being able to help support and provide for others, with G-d's help.
Thus, if there was any possible heavenly decree that the person would have had to ask another for his food during this year, when one asks for lekach the decree has been fulfilled and there will be no further need to ask; all one's needs will be provided for by G-d.
On a deeper level, even the lekach is not really being received from a person! In reality, all food comes from G-d, and therefore a poor person who receives food from a person thanks G-d, Who "provides nourishment and sustenance for all." This is because the person is only an intermediary for delivering G-d's blessings.
However, both parties still feel that a transaction has taken place between two human beings. The giving of lekach on the eve of Yom Kippur is not like this, however. Since these are the days when G-d is "close," all parties involved feel that G-d Himself is doing the giving, and the giver is no more than a messenger. Even more so, the giver is not even seen as a messenger, but just a link enabling G-d's gift to come to the person.
May we, this very Yom Kippur and even before, see with our own eyes that G-d is truly the Giver and that He gives only good, with the complete revelation of King Moshiach NOW!
Yom Kippur is from Friday evening, Oct. 10, through Saturday night, Oct. 11.
In addition to the prohibition of work, as on the Sabbath, there are five activities specifically prohibited on Yom Kippur: eating and drinking, anointing oneself with perfumes or lotions, marital relations, washing (for pleasure), and wearing leather shoes.
An Eternal Bond
Though these Days of Awe, as they are often called, are solemn, they are not sad. In fact, Yom Kippur is, in a subtle way, one of the happiest days of the year.
For on Yom Kippur we receive what is perhaps G-d's most sublime gift: His forgiveness. When one person forgives another, it is because of a deep sense of friendship and love that overrides the effect of whatever wrong was done. Similarly, G-d's forgiveness is an expression of His eternal, unconditional love.
Though we may have transgressed His will, our essence, our soul, remains G-dly and pure. Yom Kippur is the one day each year when G-d reveals most clearly that our essence and His essence are one. Moreover, on the level of the soul, the Jewish people are all truly equal and indivisible.
The more fully we demonstrate our essential unity by acting with love and friendship amongst ourselves, the more fully G-d's love will be revealed to us.
Jonah Swallowed By the Fish
The Haftorah that is read on the afternoon of Yom Kippur tells the story of how G-d commanded the prophet Jonah to go to the city of Ninveh and warn the people there to repent, lest G-d destroy their city.
Jonah did not want to fulfill this mission and ran away on a ship. G-d caused a terrible storm to occur and eventually the sailors threw Jonah off the ship, as the only way to make the storm abate.
G-d caused a great fish to swallow up Jonah. Eventually Jonah was saved from the fish and went to do G-d's bidding in Ninveh.
Why was this story chosen to be read on the holiest day of the year? And why did Jonah "run away" from G-d rather than carry out his mission? To teach us how much our love of our fellow Jew needs to be.
Jonah knew that if he went to Ninveh the people there would repent. He also knew that the Jewish people had not repented in spite of all the chastising the prophets had given them.
Rather than make the Jewish people appear bad in G-d's eyes, Jonah chose to "run away." This lesson is so important that we read it every year on Yom Kippur.
A Day of Prayer
On Yom Kippur we are freed from all material concerns, and can devote the day to prayer.
We begin the evening service with the chanting of "Kol Nidrei," which absolves us of any vows we may make in the coming year.
During each main prayer throughout Yom Kippur, we recite the "Viduy" (confession), enumerating all the sins we may have committed, and ask for G-d's forgiveness.
The final prayer of the day, as our judgment for the coming year is being sealed, is called "Ne'ilah."
Ne'ilah is the only service of the entire year during which the doors of the Ark remain open from beginning to end. This signifies that the gates of prayer in heaven are wide open to us at this time.
Ne'ilah culminates with the "Shema Yisrael" and other verses said in unison, and the final blowing of the shofar.
A Threefold Holiness
One of the most moving parts of the Yom Kippur service is the recounting of the Service of the Kohen Gadol, the High Priest.
On this, the holiest day of the year, the holiest man in the world would enter the holiest place on earth -- the Kodesh HaKadoshim [Holy of Holies] of the Temple in Jerusalem -- to pray on behalf of his people.
When he emerged from the Holy of Holies, the liturgy tells us, he was radiant, "like the iridescence of the rainbow... like a rose in a garden of delight... like the morning star sparkling on the horizon..."
Call your local synagogue, or Chabad-Lubavitch Center for the time of the Yom Kippur services.
For a listing of the Centers in your area: http://www.chabad.org/chabadir-access.html. In the USA, call: 1-800-Lubavitch (1-800-582-2848).
Whether it's a t-shirt suggesting "Visualize Whirled Peas" (Get it? "Visualize world peace"), or a bumper sticker with a '60s peace sign announcing: "an idea whose time has come," everyone wants peace.
People have always wanted world peace. But the desire and drive to make peace a reality continues to intensify. And this heightened yearning for world peace comes at a time when the possibility seems even more remote, when weapons of war and terrorism have become ever more sophisticated and deadly.
As we approach the holiest day of the year, our thoughts--though rightfully turned inward toward personal improvement--are still juxtaposed with consideration of the world in which we live.
But maybe, just maybe, the two are intimately intertwined. For, as the Talmud teaches, every person is a miniature world. And the fact that the first person was created as a lone individual, unlike the other creations which were created in multitude, teaches us about the power and importance of each individual.
So, this Yom Kippur, as we contemplate our miniature world and the world at large, let us contemplate a practical idea as to how we can help bring about world peace.
Esoteric Jewish teachings relate the following story, which might prove very helpful in our quest for peace, not only in the world at large, but in our own communities, family units and within ourselves.
It once happened that Rabbi Abba was sitting in the gateway to the city of Lod, and saw a fatigued person approach from the road. The stranger entered a ruin, sat down beneath a tottering wall and fell asleep. Rabbi Abba observed a serpent approach the slumbering stranger, but suddenly an animal emerged from the ruin and struck the serpent do
When the sleeper awoke and saw the dead serpent close by, he rose to leave. As he walked away, the wall collapsed directly upon the place where he had slept. Rabbi Abba approached him and asked, "Tell me of your behavior. For G-d has wrought two miracles on your behalf. And not for naught did you merit them."
The stranger said, "Never did anyone inflect harm upon me without my effecting a reconciliation with him, and extending him my immediate forgiveness. If it happened that I was unable to effect an immediate reconciliation, I did not sleep till I had forgiven him, and I never paid attention to any harm he inflicted on me. Also, from that day I sought ways to extend him favors."
Rabbi Abba thought: He is indeed worthy that G-d should perform miracles on his behalf. Rabbi Abba wept and said, "This man's conduct is even greater than that of Joseph. For Joseph was dealing with his own brothers, and it is normal that he would have been merciful toward them. Thus, this person's interaction with his fellowman excelled even over Joseph."
May we all be completely successful this year in actualizing the dream of the entire human race for all time, a world truly at peace, led by Moshiach.
The day before Yom Kippur the air in the city of Lubavitch was already permeated with the holiness of the day. Reb Shmuel, a respected scholar and chasid, sat in a corner of the shul swaying in prayer when the door swung open and a peddler entered the room. He threw himself down on a bench and tossed his pack on the floor. Reb Shmuel inquired, "How are you, brother?"
"Oy," sighed the man. "The exile is dark and terrible. Just today I was walking past the mansion of Squire Lobomirsky. Everyone knows his evil reputation. Whenever I pass that place, I walk as fast as I can to get away from it. Suddenly, someone cried out, 'Hey, Jew!' My blood ran cold. Thank G-d, it was only the squire's servant, who wanted to buy a scarf from me. He told me about a Jewish family imprisoned in the squire's dungeon. They owe him rent, and if they don't pay by tomorrow, they'll all be killed. If only I had that money...what a terrible and dark exile."
By the time the man had finished his tale, Reb Shmuel had left the shul; soon he was knocking at the gates of the squire's mansion. "I must speak with His Excellency," he said to the guard. He was allowed to enter and he proceeded to the room where Lobomirsky sat. When the squire saw the Jew, he was infuriated: "How dare you enter my house! What do you want, Jew?"
"I want to know what is the debt of that poor, unfortunate family you have imprisoned."
The ruthless landowner's eyes lit up with the thought of lining his pockets with the money. "Let me think about it," he smiled slyly and began to calculate: "Well, there's the debt, then there's all the money I put out to feed the whole brood, then there's the penalty payment; there's also the money required to cancel their hanging--it would have provided good entertainment." At the end of his "calculations," Reb Shmuel was faced with an exorbitant sum.
"Somehow G-d will help me raise that sum," Shmuel replied to the smirking Lobomirsky.
It was getting late. Reb Shmuel went from door to door, telling everyone about the plight of the imprisoned family, and although they were as generous as possible, they themselves were poor. When he had finished his rounds, Reb Shmuel had a pitifully small sum in his hands. "This will never do," he thought to himself. "I must do something else, and fast."
He was walking aimlessly, thinking of his next move, when he looked up and found himself in front of a tavern. The sound of loud, drunken voices emerged from within, and Shmuel was seized with the thought that just perhaps his money was waiting for him inside, if only he could figure out how to get it. As soon as he entered, he was sickened by the smell of liquor and stale smoke. A group of card players looked up, surprised to see a chasidic Jew in their midst. "What do you want, Jew?"
"I am here on a mission of mercy. The lives of an entire family hang in the balance. I must raise a large sum of money." One of the players replied, "Well, if you can down this beaker of vodka, I just might give you this money," and he pointed to a towering stack of gold coins. Reb Shmuel was never much of a drinker, but what choice did he have? He downed the vodka, and true to his word, the card player handed over the money. In quick succession, the other players offered their winnings if he would drink two more huge cups of vodka. Reb Shmuel's eyes were beginning to cross, but the glimmering piles of coins steadied his resolve. An hour after he had entered the tavern, he staggered out with his pockets bulging and stumbled in the direction of the squire's mansion.
The squire couldn't believe his eyes, but he greedily accepted the gold and released the grateful family who had barely escaped death.
Reb Shmuel could barely put one foot in front of the other; his eyes no longer focused, but, he still remembered the holy day. He managed to get to the shul, where he promptly collapsed in a heap. The worshippers were dressed in their white robes, looking so much like the ministering angels. They were startled to see Reb Shmuel snoring away, dressed in his weekday clothes that showed evidence of his tavern experience. "What could have come over him?" they wondered.
Reb Shmuel lay asleep throughout the evening of prayers that marked the beginning of the holiest day. His snoring provided a constant accompaniment to the heartfelt prayers rising from the congregation. The prayers ended, Psalms were recited, and the shul emptied out. Reb Shmuel slept on.
At the first morning light, the worshippers returned to the shul for the long day of prayers. Reb Shmuel was beginning to stir. They watched curiously as he opened his bleary eyes and stood up. Walking straight to the bimah, Reb Shmuel banged on the wood with his fist, and in a booming voice, exclaimed: "Know that G-d, He is the L-rd; there is none other than Him."
The congregation fell into confusion. What was Reb Shmuel doing reciting the words of the Simchat Torah prayers?! Why, didn't he realize that today was Yom Kippur? Suddenly the rabbi rose and turned toward the congregation: "Leave Reb Shmuel alone. He has far outpaced us. With the great deed he has done, his atonement is complete, and he is waiting for us at Simchat Torah!"
Jewish Women and Girls Light the Shabbat/Yom Kippur candles
For local candle lighting times:
consult your local Rabbi, Chabad-Lubavitch Center, or call: (718) 774-3000.
For a free candle lighting kit:
contact your local Chabad-Lubavitch Center.
For a listing of the Centers in your area:
In the USA, call: 1-800-Lubavitch (1-800-582-2848).
Friday, Oct. 10, Erev Yom Kippur:
Saturday, Oct. 11, Yom Kippur:
2. The Shabbat/Yom Kippur candles must be lit 18 minutes before sunset. It is prohibited and is a desecration of the Shabbat/Yom Kippur to light the candles after sunset.
After lighting the candles, recite:
Bo-ruch A-toh Ado-noi E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ho-olom
A-sher Ki-de-sho-nu Be-mitz-vo-sov Ve-tzi-vo-nu
Le-had-lik Ner shel Shabbos V'shel Yom Ha-ki-purim.
Blessed are you, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe,
who has sanctified us with His commandments, and
commanded us to kindle the light of Shabbat and Yom Kippur.
Bo-ruch A-toh Ado-noi E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ho-olom
She-heche-yo-nu Ve-ki-ye-mo-nu Ve-higi-o-nu Liz-man Ha-zeh.
Blessed are you, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe,
who has granted us life, sustained us and enabled us
to reach this occasion.
Laws of Shabbat Candle Lighting for the Blind
Shabbat Candle Lighting Blessing
"Let There Be Light" - The Jewish Women's Guide to Lighting Shabbat Candles.
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