This Yom Kippur has been unlike any other.
This Yom Kippur has been unlike any other. I have been able to connect to the holiday and understand what Yom Kippur is really about, rather than other years where I was most excited for the break fast. I think other people felt this way as well.
Kol Nidre was a really beautiful service to start Yom Kippur off. In the beginning of the service, my Israel studies teacher made a speech that I kept coming back to the rest of Yom Kippur. He said “We were in a cross section of holiness, the holiest place in the world (Israel), on the holiest day of the year Yom Kippur." I think this speech also really affected one of my best friends on this program. During the Kol Nidre services my friend, Hannah felt a connection to G-d that she had never felt before. I think this experience made me feel more connected to G-d and made me want to have a more meaningful Yom Kippur.
Going back to the idea that we are in a cross sections of holiness - I wanted to make the most out of my Yom Kippur and experience what it is really like to be in Israel on Yom Kippur, not just on campus. On erev Yom Kippur everyone went off campus and we got to experience the whole country stop. There were no cars on the roads, no businesses open and everyone was walking around and riding their bikes and scooters in the middle of the streets. This was really special and it was a defining moment that made me realize “I am in Israel." This was really special for me and it made me want to experience more of what Yom Kippur is like in Israel.
The morning of Yom Kippur I woke up at 5:30 to go to services in town. This service was unlike any other I had ever been to. I saw the blessings for the cohanim which I had never seen before and there was also a bid for the aliyot. The service was also all in hebrew and there were tunes to prayers i didnt know which i am glad that i got to hear, but there were also tunes that i did know which i thought was amazing that i live across the world but there is a part of me that connects to the traditions and people here in israel.
To end the day we had a really beautiful Nei’ila service which I really enjoyed. It was very spiritual and I felt that I had a clear head from fasting and I was able to connect more to the service. I also really liked it because I was able to open the Ark which is a really big honor in the service.
This Yom Kippur I was able to figure out what the holiday actually meant and i was able to connect deeper to the holiday. I am glad I got to experience all of this in Israel and that I was able to connect deeper to the holiday.