Posted on Sep 11, 2021 | 0 comments


Before the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, the pinnacle of the Yom Kippur service was the moment when the High Priest (the Kohen Gadol) would enter the Holy of Holies.

This was the only time of the year that anyone could enter this holiest of inner sanctums and only the High Priest was permitted to do so and only for a short duration.

It was such an intense moment that if the High Priest was not completely pure—if he had committed even one transgression for which had had not previously atoned—he would die immediately.

This was because the Holy of Holies was a place so pure that even one blemish was intolerable. An eye cannot tolerate even one small eyelash, because it is so sensitive. And the Holy of Holies was the most sensitive, purest place in existence.

If he died, the other kohanim would have to pull his body out by a rope that had been previously attached to him. But if he succeeded in his mission to obtain G-d’s forgiveness for the Jewish people, he emerged radiating a special glow that is vividly described in Yom Kippur prayers.

Today we have no High Priest and no Temple. But the Holy of Holies still exists—in the depths of our own soul. On Yom Kippur we attempt to reach that purest part of our selves and to connect with G-d there.

We might not be able to stay in that pure place for a long time. It might only be a few minutes. But, as we know, the most special experiences last only a moment. We prepare for these most special times for hours, years, and even decades, and the effort of the preparation is well worth that split second they last.

Ask yourself: Have you prepared sufficiently for Yom Kippur to be able to make the most of the experience?

Exercise for the day:

Begin reviewing the Yom Kippur prayers in order to connect fully with the words when the time comes to enter your personal Holy of Holies.




Excerpt from 60 Days: A Spiritual Guide to the High Holidays, by Simon Jacobson.  Please consider puchasing the whole book ~ it is amazing!
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