Yom Kippur: A Day of Fasting, Atonement and Reflection
Today is a day known to Jewish people as Yom Kippur- the holiest, most religious day of the year. Today is a day where we repent our sins, and ask G-d for forgiveness. Today is also a day of fasting. (Confession here- I’m not that strong in the fasting department).
Tonight will mark my favorite synagogue service of the year. We will stand for one hour at a service called Nilah. Nilah marks the end of the 24 hour Yom Kippur fast. It is a very special hour (which I will miss because I am hosting 16 people at my house for the break fast), but what resonates for me, is the symbolism of Nilah. I think it very much parallels life. After you have fasted for 24 hours, it is customary at the Nilah service to stand the entire last hour when you are hungry, tired and dizzy. It is the ultimate test of your endurance. To be able to stand when you think you cannot.
This reminds me so much of womanhood, and our strength and endurance to go the distance in life. Women are the true definition of resilience and fortitude. We fight for what’s right. We go without so that our children won’t have to. We hide our tears to protect our loved ones. We are strength in the face of adversity. Eleanor Roosevelt said it best– Women are like teabags. We don’t know our true strength until we are in hot water.
So as you embark upon your fast if you are observing Yom Kippur, I wish you an easy fast, and a final hour of ease. May you always remember your true strength, and let it serve as your reminder not to be afraid in life. You are stronger than you think. This I know.
And one final message I saw on Facebook last night.