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WHAT A DAY!

by Rabbi Ariel Asa    
Torah from Dixie Staff Writer    

October 11, the tenth of Tishrei, Yom Kippur

10:10 A.M. - You are on an emotional roller coaster. The remorse and the regret for all that you have done wrong; the determination to improve your relationship with others and with your Creator; the realization that your fate has been hanging in limbo for the last ten days and G-d is waiting to see what you are going to do about it.

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October 11, the tenth of Tishrei, Yom Kippur

10:10 A.M. - You are on an emotional roller coaster. The remorse and the regret for all that you have done wrong; the determination to improve your relationship with others and with your Creator; the realization that your fate has been hanging in limbo for the last ten days and G-d is waiting to see what you are going to do about it.

4:10 P.M. - "All believe that He responds to prayer. Who opens a gate to those who knock in repentance." As you read these words from the machzor (festival prayer book), you begin to see a dim light of hope at the end of the tunnel. It's true I deserve to be ousted from the King's palace, you think to yourself, but if the King mercifully opens the gate for those who are regretful, maybe I have a chance.

8:10 P.M. - As the blast of the shofar is blown, signaling the conclusion of the Day of Atonement, you make a spiritual accounting of the day. You feel that your day has been one of tremendous spiritual growth and you commit to furthering that growth in the days ahead.

9:10 P.M. - You are still on a spiritual high from your experiences earlier that day. You've just managed to break your fast when you suddenly hear a banging noise. Who would be making such a racket at this hour, you wonder. You peek outside your window and there is your neighbor banging away on some project. For a moment, you feel like he must have completely missed the message of Yom Kippur. How could he go from something so spiritual to something so mundane? Then you realize he's building his sukkah for the upcoming holiday. You feel a little guilty at jumping to conclusions, but you still feel that he should focus on something more spiritual and let the sukkah wait for tomorrow.

10:10 P.M. - You decide not to let your commitment wane, so you begin to listen to a Torah tape. The topic is the connection between Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Your ears perk up as you hear the lecturer mention the custom to begin building the sukkah immediately after Yom Kippur. He explains that although Yom Kippur brings a person to teshuvah (repentance), it is done with the evil inclination's hands tied behind its back. Immediately after Yom Kippur, the knot is loosened and the evil inclination is back at his job. The lesson of the sukkah, explains the lecturer, is that mundane activities - like eating and sleeping - become spiritual ones. The evil inclination has no control over a person who has internalized such a lesson, thus the close connection between Yom Kippur and Sukkot.

11:10 P.M. - After making sure that none of your neighbors are sleeping, you begin to pull out your sukkah boards, all the while contemplating the deeper meaning behind what you are doing.

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Rabbi Ariel Asa is an educator at Torah Day School and is a practicing mohel, sofer, and shatnez checker.

You are invited to read more Sukkot articles.

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