Yom Kippur has ended, and I am feeling fresh and reset.
Yom Kippur has ended, and I am feeling fresh and reset. Almost every year, I get this feeling of relief, but something about this year was exceptional. Despite the sadness of being without my family on such a special day, I feel I had a deeper reflection this year than ever before. Being without my parents gave me the space to think deeply about my past year—experiences I've had and how they have shaped me to be a different person. On campus we had many incredible opportunities to dive deeper into the meaning of Yom Kippur. I really enjoyed the discussions throughout the day, despite my hunger. At home, I usually go to synagogue for most of the day and then come home and do nothing. Which don't get me wrong is meaningful. I enjoy services very much; they are very comforting and beautiful to me. However, having the time to talk about what all this stuff means and question why we do it was special.
Another thing I learned about myself this year is that I deeply value services. I believe that on such a holy day, giving ourselves time for spirituality and meditation is vital. That is what services are to me. Another incredible experience from this Yom Kippur was going on our evening walk in the streets. I have never been to Israel during the holidays, so I have never witnessed this before. All the streets were filled with people (COVID safe). Kids were riding their scooters and bicycles together. Old people, young people, couples, families, etc. It was simply incredible to witness. This walk made me feel the magic of Israel. My chagim this year at AMHSI was very special.