> Spirituality > Personal Growth

Yom Kippur: Making a You-Turn

September 14, 2018 | by Stephen Safer

Are you travelling in the wrong direction?

It's the season of U-turns, completely reversing one's direction of travel.

We all share similar highway of life (the I-9-to-5). It's the detours and exits we take that lead us to diverse locations and outcomes. To get from here to there is linked by the interlocking junctions and intricacies of thought and action. These perilous detours and exits are urged by the cravings of theyetzer hara, that lower animalistic part of ourselves that is capable of reducing a multi-lane highway (free-will) to a one lane road replete with haz-mat (hazardous materials) and all sorts of off-road blandishments.

We're to blame for running into havoc on this road. This monster traffic jam has the tendency to clutter the body and mind and taint the soul, leading to dangerous levels of soul pollution.

By performing a You-Turn and changing course, Yom Kippur paves a new road free from contamination and contagions. The cleansing properties of the day make for a new verve. The blast of the shofar is the sonic tonic needed to ensure proper alignment for our travels. The only tolls are tzedakah, repentance and prayer on this spiritual interchange. We fast on this track to slow down the transgression. Follow the gleaming signs along the way through peaks and valleys of the day's prayer services and be granted a pardon of iniquities.

The Day of Atonement furnishes life to all days. On this day the heart is subdued. Our GPS is seeking God alone. We are steered away from all kinds of quarrels, spiritual and material, and arrive at our destination of peace, transporting happiness and joy. Yom Kippur is a day of spiritual re-ignition and a sealant for the approaching year auto-graphed by God.

The air is conditioned with clemency. The cruise control and navigational device is set on seeking mercy on this expressway in hopes of not colliding with the daily friction of oncoming traffic. To stay on course consider the Source.

Let your soul steer your body and as Rabbi Noah Weinberg states, “Don’t be afraid of discovering that the ‘real you’ may be different than the ‘current you'."

Are you going the wrong way? Make that 180-degree turn to life. Make that You-Turn and return. Take the One High-way with the Torah and head towards your destination with the High-beams of teshuvah and prayer piercing and banishing the darkness. Leave your baggage with God and begin again, coasting on this litter-free interstate of mind and soul we are the Destined-Nation!

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