Yom Kippur, a universal message


On Yom Kippur we recite Yizkor, a prayer which make us evoke the memory of our loved ones who are not with us physically but are part of who we are.

Our loved ones who have passed away made us who we are today. On You Kippur, the day of Atonement we remember them because without them we wouldn’t exist. Yom Kippur, away when we Jews, try to be become better human beings. Remembering our loved ones is one way to become a better person. The truth is that the liturgy of the Jewish High Holidays is not just about us, Jews. Its message is directed to the entire human race.

In our liturgy we read “… God, let all your creatures sense Your awesome power. Let all whom You have fashioned stand in fear and trembling. Let all humankind pledge their allegiance to You, united wholeheartedly to carry You will….”

The key word is “all”. On Yom Kippur, we Jews, pray for a world of peace for all human beings. We ask forgiveness not just from our fellow Jews, but from any person we have wrong. The High Holidays and specially Yom Kippur is a strong reminder that in spite of our individuality and uniqueness, we are connected and peace in our world will only be achieved when “all” humans can feel the connection and understand our common Divine origin.

This Yom Kippur I will pray for peace for all people. We cannot separate ourselves from the world and Yon Kippur reminds us of that holy connection between creation and our existence. As we pray for forgiveness and understanding, Jews around the world will also pray perfect forgiveness for all of us. It is our duty, on a day that makes us closer to God, to bring unity to the world. Yom Kippur a day when we Jews separate ourselves from the mundane, we also connect with those who are not longer with us and with the rest of the world. This Yom Kippur we will reaffirm our connection and relation with the human family, we are all part of God’s Divine creation.

May peace descend on all of us, may this Jewish New Year bring peace to the world.

With love and hope, I remain,

Rabbi Uri Goren