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		                                    Thinking Torah Blog		                                </span>

09/21/2023 05:00:55 PM


Rabbi Josh Whinston

Yom Kippur asks us to confront our mortality in dramatic ways. The most obvious way we do that is by refraining from 5 actions, eating, washing, anointing with oil (lotions and such), wearing leather shoes, and sexual relations. These 5 actions are all things that help many of us feel alive and invigorated. On Yom Kippur we try to look our mortality directly in the face in the hopes that we live a life more in line with our best self. During these Days of Awe, our liturgy asks us to confront the reality that we only have a short time in this life.

At the end of this week’s Torah portion, God instructs Moses to climb to the top of Mount Nebo so he can see Canaan before the Israelites enter. As we know, Moses is barred from entering. Symbolically at least, each of climbs our own Mount Nebo this Yom Kippur. When you look out from your mountaintop, what will you see?

Tue, December 5 2023 22 Kislev 5784