Reb Shlomo Carlebach ztz'l
The Cleansing of Yom Kippur
What do we do when we make mistakes? Each time you make a mistake you begin to hate somebody you love. You begin to hate somebody you love, because you don’t want to be angry at yourself.
Adam made a mistake, so what does he say? Adam’s angry at Eve, Eve is angry at Adam, they are angry at G-d, and then they are angry at their children. But I'll tell you something else. The more mistakes you make, the more you don’t know anymore what you really want in life, because I need a big excuse why did I do so and so in the first place.
Do you know what happens to us on Yom Kippur? What is G-d cleaning us of? If G-d wants to just to forgive us, he can do it any Wednesday and G-d really does forgive us on Wednesday. Yom Kippur is not when G-d has the board of directors together and they sign a declaration. ‘Ahhh, brother, you’re being forgiven, show this letter to the teller, you’ll get all the money you’ll need now. We have cleared you’.
You know what Yom Kippur is? That suddenly G-d cleans me so much that I realize, I didn’t want to do the aveirah in the first place.
I want you to know something. When we say “Al Chet,” and we mention all the mistakes we made, you know what we’re telling G-d? I did it, but I really didn’t want to. I really didn’t want to. You see, each time we say Al Chet, it's not asking G-d for forgiveness because G-d can forgive you on a wholesale level any day of the year, but Yom Kippur is something else.
Imagine my whole life I am so happy saying bad things about other people. On Yom Kippur, with a little holiness shining into my heart, suddenly I really don’t want to anymore. I didn’t want to walk around from house to house telling bad things, destroying marriages, destroying friendships. I really don’t want to. And Yom Kippur gives me the strength to realize this.
I want to tell you something awesome. When people get married, man and woman cannot enter a relationship unless it’s Yom Kippur before. Because the question is not do you like the same bank, do you like the same color towels in the bathroom. The question is, what do you really want. So Yom Kippur is mamesh when G-d gives me the strength to cleanse myself from everything I don’t really want.
You know friends, if we would have thousands of hours, and I wish I could tell you everything our holy rabbis teach us about the 10 days you make tshuva the 10 days of Repentance. And every day we recite Shir haMalos - Master of the World, I call you from the deepest depths...
Friends, please make it make it into a habit, the 10 days, walk around and just pray this 130th Psalm, it so deep, to call Hashem out of the depths, the depths of my heart, with the depths of despair, with the depths of hopelessness, or the depths of love, the depths of hope all those depths in the world So everybody knows: The 10 days I’m really trying my best to change ,to bring out the deepest depths of Me. All those 10 days, I look at the world with different eyes.
And you know friends this is so deep. How do you know if you in your own house or somebody else’s? Very simple: Imagine It’s late at night and I’m a dirty and filthy drunk and I knock on the door, He opens it and lets me in but asks: “Listen brother: why do you come so late? Why are you so dirty; please take a shower.” Do you know what the people in my house tell me? “Oh, we are so glad you came, we worried about you.”
But when you come back to your own house, you just say ‘oh, we missed you so much’. So when make tshuva, we come back to our own house. Mamash every person who finds his way back to Hashem. And then comes Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur - Neilah – Sukkot -The deepest connections
KAPPORET: The morning before Yom Kippur we find something some people take a chicken and slaughter it, and then give it to the poor to eat. But it’s a little bit hard sometimes to do today, to find a chicken and what most people do today is take some money, and say that this money go for charity, and Master of the World, bring me in into a good life.
And the truth is, the day before Yom Kippur is already a little bit Yom Kippur. As much as we eat and drink, but ah just the air so holy, so awesomely beautiful. And we are going to the mikveh. Every man and every woman, once they immerse themselves in rain-water, water from heaven, water which is untouched by human hands I’m sure everybody is so holy and so pure. Because on Yom Kippur, you know what is shining into us? The deepest depths of our Neshama, which is untouched, unseen. Ah, it is so deep so deep.
And Yom Kippur night we come to shul, we ask each other for forgiveness. And then, you know, my beautiful friends: last year we promised Hashem so much, but we kept so little. We lost even in our self-confidence; we don’t trust ourselves any more. So Yom Kippur night we take out the Torah, and we walk around, and we ask the Torah for forgiveness. Please, holy Torah, forgive me for not keeping you. Forgive me for not being immersed in every word and every letter.
And then the davening Yom Kippur night. It one of the highest of the whole year. So much joy, with so much singing and dancing. What a day, what a day. And I always tell my friends, in the most simple way: Imagine I owe the bank 10 million dollars; there is no way to pay back. Then I get a telegram from the bank: not only you don’t have to pay it back, we’ re giving you a new loan of 10 million dollars.
Let me ask you friends: am I walking around krechtzing and say, ‘oy oy oy, last year I didn’t pay my bill.’ What do you want? They’re forgiving you, and giving and giving you a new loan. This is a time to rejoice. So all the Rebbes say that basically Yom Kippur is most probably the most joyous day of the year. And my own Neshama is so happy, full of joy, and bliss.
On Yom Kippur we don’t struggle fasting because the energy which is coming down from heaven is like manna from heaven. The fact is, you know friends, Yom Kippur, the later it gets, the less hungry you are. The last few minutes of Yom Kippur you’re not hungry at all. Have you ever asked anybody in shul, at the end of Yom Kippur, are you hungry? I’m not hungry, I could fast another week.
And I bless you friends, the last few minutes of Yom Kippur, Neilah is the time really, to pour into our hearts, to be so close to Hashem, to be so close to the people we love. And our holy rabbis teach us: You know what Hashem says to every one of us: “All day long we were together, with all of Israel, but now let’s go into a room the last few minutes, let’s just you and I go, let me lock the doors so we can really be together”
Hashem is alone with every one of us, we can ask of Hashem everything there is, and Hashem is telling us also, what he wants of us. It should be so deep in our hearts. I bless you with the best year, best Yom Kippur. Good Yomtov; good Yomtov.
THE BRIDGE FROM YOM KIPPUR TO SUKKOT:
You know my beautiful friends, by Neilah before Hashem is closing the gates, well he never closes the gates, but He takes us in to the highest place in the world, to the innermost chamber and every Jew is alone with Hashem, and Hashem says to us: I have an invitatiom for you: please come for one week to my Sukka. Humanely speaking it’s HaShem’s summer house, Hashem’s spa. Come there for one week, and I will cure your heart, cure your soul, give you strength. And if you really want to know, if Hashem forgave you on Yom Kippur, the question is: are you coming to the Sukka. Are you feeling at home in the Sukka, did you hear Hashem invitation. I bless you, please, please parents bring your children to the Sukka.