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TOPIC TITLE: "I Like You!" A Yom Kippur Message By Rabbi Mordechai Rhine
Created On 10/6/11 3:47 PM
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Aba
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10/6/11 3:47 PM
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I came across a short torah thought on Yom Kipper which I felt others may enjoy/gain from also.
(The link broke so I copied the vort over)
(For those exhausted by there Yom Tov prep don't worry it's an easy read.)

Kol Tuv and a Gamar V'Chasima Tovah.

"I Like You!"
A Yom Kippur Message
By Rabbi Mordechai Rhine

Yom Kippur is a special day. It is a day filled with closeness; a day filled with sincere, heartfelt prayer. For many it is the Kol Nidrei at the start of the day that is their favorite moment. But for me, it is the Neilah service, at the conclusion of the day, that holds the greatest meaning.

Maybe it is because I wasn’t always fortunate enough to participate in Neilah. As a teenager I fasted very poorly and I would usually participate in Neilah in a most limited fashion, laying on the floor in an adjoining room waiting for the fast to end. Today I have been blessed with strength and I find Neilah a most powerful experience.

Neilah means “closing”. It is at this time that the gates of prayer, open wide throughout the High Holidays begin to close. The service contains many inspirational moments, such as the cry, “Open up the gates at the time that they are closing,” for we have a few more things to squeeze in before this day of blessing is done.

The blessings of this day are not limited to the blessings that we deserve based on our own merit. The medrash tells us that when Moshe was given a tour of the heavenly realm he was shown many storehouses of blessing from which blessing is dispensed. At each one he asked, “What type of person would get from this one?” and each time he was given a response of a certain merit that would earn such a reward.

But when Moshe eventually came upon a storehouse that was larger than the rest, he asked his question, but the response was different. This time G-d replied, “This storehouse is for blessing to people whom I choose to bless. They may not have sufficient merit…” But I have a relationship with them. I like them. And I want to bless them.

The moments of Neilah are an ideal time to tap in to what is essentially G-d’s discretionary account. We have assessed ourselves throughout the day and have identified areas that we can definitely improve. We are fearfully unsure if our merits alone will carry us through judgment, but we do have something very special in our favor. Over the course of the day we have developed a relationship with G-d. At Neilah, we put our foot in the door even as it closes. We have a newfound relationship with G-d. On the basis of this newfound relationship we take our machzor in hand and use these moments to attend to unfinished business.

Rav Katzin is a Russian born Rabbi living in the United States. In the 1970s when the Soviet Union was still religiously “off limits,” he got an offer from Voice of America that they were willing to broadcast his lectures to the Soviet Bloc in an effort to reach out to the Russian Jews. The deal was that if the cassette was mailed on time, they would air his weekly lecture.

One night while on the way to a meeting, he asked his driver to stop by the post office so that he could drop something off. The driver was a bit surprised to be going to the post office so late at night, but Rabbi Katzin insisted that he had to mail his weekly cassette.

As they arrived at the post office it was clear that business was done for the day. It was well after 7:00. Rabbi Katzin directed the driver to go around the back of the building. They pulled up at a most deserted looking loading dock and Rabbi Katzin got out. He walked swiftly to a nondescript looking door and tapped. About five seconds passed and then the door opened. Quickly Rabbi Katzin handed his cassette to the outstretched hand. The door closed and Rabbi Katzin returned to the car.

The driver was stunned. “This place looks as closed as closed could be. How did you manage to get that door open with merely a knock?”

Rabbi Katzin looked up with a smile. “You think this is the first time I was running late with the recording for Russian Jewry? By now they know me here, and they are willing to help.”

For many Kol Nidrei is the highlight of Yom Kippur. I find that most praiseworthy. But for me Neilah is the expression of G-d’s true love for us. As the doors close, we give a tap at the door. “We still have some prayers that we wish to add.”

Suddenly, the door opens, and we are given yet one more chance. After a full day of Yom Kippur we have developed a relationship. If you have some unfinished business to attend to- some prayers that you still need to squeeze in- use the time wisely and do so. Because He knows you; He loves you; and He is willing to help.

With best wishes for a meaningful Yom Kippur, and a wonderful new year!

Rabbi Mordechai Rhine, originally of Monsey, New York, is the Rav of Young Israel of Cherry Hill and the Director of TEACH613™, an organization which promotes Jewish Law and Ethics in the Cherry Hill/ Philadelphia area.

Rabbi Rhine holds semicha from Rabbi Berel Wein, and a specialty addendum in marriage law from Rabbi S. M. Katz of Lakewood. He has also received a Masters in Rabbinic and Talmudic Studies, and has been teaching Torah for over 25 years.

Rabbi Rhine is the author of a popular book, "The Magic of Shabbos: A Journey Through the Shabbos Experience," (Judaica Press, 1998) and the producer and presenter of an audio series entitled The Perek Shira Collection, available in stores or at www.teach613.org.

To invite Rabbi Rhine to speak in your community, please contact him at RMRhine@teach613.org or 908-770-9072.

© 2011, Rabbi Mordechai Rhine and TEACH613


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"Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming." - Coach John Wooden

Edited: 1/16/12 at 12:30 PM by Aba
 
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Ineedspace
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10/7/11 8:09 AM
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Thank you Aba, nice piece, very inspiring.
 
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wishtobehappy
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10/7/11 11:53 AM
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I second that.
 
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LuYitzlach
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10/9/11 11:54 PM
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very nice!
wish i would have seen b4 y"k...
 
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