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  • Rabbi David Paskin

Purity

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From Rabbi David

My favorite Yom Kippur tradition is wearing white. Actually, I love it so much I will only wear white on Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, and Shabbat. Wearing white symbolizes purity: A purity of heart, mind, and spirit.


Your children wear their pure hearts on their sleeves each and every day. Their questions, successes, and struggles are all beautiful reminders of how pure of heart they are and the power of embracing and celebrating that purity.


As I get older I find myself, more and more, judging others and myself too often. It's ironic that on the day of Judgement - Yom Kippur - that we are reminded of the innocence and purity of a child, in whom there is no judgement of others and who has not yet learned to judge oneself too harshly. This juxtaposition of judgement and purity is striking and is perhaps central to Yom Kippur to remind us too, that while we must do the important work of cheshbon hanefesh - self reflection, we shouldn't forget about the pure heart and soul that we were born with: A heart that loves unconditionally and a soul that is always learning, growing, and becoming.


Each morning we sing in t'fillot (our prayers) "Elohai neshama she'natata bi t'horah hi" "God, the soul you gave me is pure." This Yom Kippur let's celebrate our children's pure hearts and when we don our white clothing for Yom Kippur, let's remember that we have that same capacity for love, acceptance, and growth.

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