Reflecting on Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur is one of the holiest days of the Jewish year; it’s referred to as the Day of Atonement. Yom Kippur is an important time to reflect on the past and plan for a better future. Here are some meaningful ways to honor this day.
Despite our best intentions, sometimes we hurt other people’s feelings. Saying you’re sorry to someone and making a commitment to be kinder in the future is an important part of nurturing relationships. Likewise, being willing to forgive others for ways they have hurt you will help you move forward as an even better you.
Give Up A Basic Comfort
Some people who have had a Bat/Bar Mitzvah, or are at least 12 years old, might fast. Younger kids might instead choose to give up a basic comfort of the day such as a particular activity, device, toy, or book. Eliminating something from our day that otherwise brings us comfort and pleasure, is one way of reminding ourselves to slow down, think about the choices we make, and keep in mind the importance of not taking for granted the ways in which our needs are met. This can help us better appreciate what we have.
Ever make a New Year’s resolution? Yom Kippur is a good time on the Jewish calendar to commit to bridging the gap between who we are today and the better version of ourselves who we believe we can become. What is the difference between how you see yourself today and who you want to be? Perhaps you want to be a better peer leader and spend more time sitting with others at lunch who do not have other friends to sit with. Maybe you want to spend less time gossiping about others. Consider the specific ways you want to be a better you and make a commitment to work on becoming that person today.
Tzedakah, or doing good, is a key part of being Jewish. It’s also a core part of demonstrating gratitude and appreciation for the good you have in your own life. Practice doing a mitzvah – volunteer your time, donate (examples of useful items include clothes, books, toys, or money) to a charity or person in need. Try doing something good today that you might not otherwise do on a regular day.
Best wishes to you and your families for a happy, healthy new year!
G’mar Chatimah Tova,
The Beber Camp Full-Time team
Stefan, Becky, Joel, Michael, Abby, Alex, Marc, Elli, and Sarabeth