As we get older, we get a whole new appreciation for the takanos and minhagim our chachamim have instituted over the past 2000 years.
Take the calendar, for example. By the time the summer is over, we are both physically and emotionally drained. It’s hard to imagine starting a new year. So, the chachamim instituted that we blow shofar every morning in Elul to wake us up from our slumber. Yet, as the days go by, we’re still not where we should be, so a week before Rosh Hashanah, we’re schlepped out of bed at 1:00 a.m. to go to shul and recite selichos until we get the message that the yamim noraim are just around the corner…
Then comes Yom Kippur. It repeats every year, we know it will come each year—one might expect we’d get so used to it that it would no longer have an impact on us. However, each year the solemn day moves us in a profound way, telling us that no matter what we did the past year, we are able to shed the negatives of our past and start anew.
Yom Kippur also tells us that even down here, we are one with Hashem. Our job is to realize this and express it in our day-to-day actions. This explains why Yom Kippur is after Rosh Hashanah and not before. If it were just about forgiveness of the previous year’s mistakes, it would be before Rosh Hashanah. Once we’ve accepted Hashem as Father and King we able to experience the inclusion and unification that Yom Kippur brings.
As with all spiritual realities, we will see this with our physical eyes when Mashiach comes. May it be very soon.
Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos and a k’sivah v’chasimah tovah l’shanah tovah u’misukah,