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Published by: outdash2 on Sep 12, 2013
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09/13/2013

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Vol. 18 Issue #1
Yom Kippur
Yisrael’s
teshuvah
and will remove their pain. Verse 19
declares that “Hashem has declared peace for the near andthe far.”
 The end of the
haftarah
(58:13-14) seems to,almost randomly, discuss Shabbat:
,:, )(":
“If you turn away your foot because of Shabbat,
from pursuing your business on My holy day; and callShabbat a delight, and the holy [day] of Hashem honorable;and shall honor it, not doing your wonted ways, norpursuing your business, nor speaking thereof; Then shallyou delight yourself in Hashem, and I will make you rideupon the high places of the earth, and I will feed you withthe heritage of Jacob your father; for the mouth of Hashem
has spoken it.” Though this ending could simply be
construed as an example of something Bnei Yisrael must doto make their fasts meaningful
 – 
that is, in addition tofeeding the poor and not fighting, they must keep Shabbat
 – 
 its prominent placement at the end of the
haftarah
on theholiest day of the year must mean something more. Perhapsit is a deliberate attempt to end on a high note
 – 
to couchthe intense, scary message that makes up the bulk of the
haftarah
in hopeful ones.This structure of the
haftarah
perfectly reflects thedialectical nature of Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur issimultaneously terrifying and joyful; our attitude is one of extreme anxiety mixed with assured hope. While we pourour hearts out to Hashem, asking Him to judge usfavorably, we also know from our
mesora
that Yom Kippurworks. We know that if we do Yom Kippur right
 – 
if we band together as a community and truly do
teshuvah
and askHashem for mercy
 – 
we will achieve atonement.It is often wondered why when we say the
viduy 
(
“ashamnu, bagadnu
”) together on Yom Kippur we use a
relatively happy tune. The answer is that the tune perfectly
The Dual Nature of Yom Kippur
Yitzi Lindenbaum 
The
haftarah
of 
shacharit
on Yom Kippur, drawnmostly from Yeshayah 58, is known for discussing thepitfalls of insincere fasting and describing what anacceptable
 yom inuy 
consists of. Bnei Yisrael complain toYeshayah that they have fasted and afflicted themselves, butHashem has seemingly ignored them. Hashem responds thatalthough Bnei Yisrael may pretend that they are righteous,in fact on the very day that they are fasting they arespiritually negligent
 – 
they simply continue to go abouttheir business and fight with one another. In 58:5, Hashempoignantly criticizes Bnei Yisrael:
 
,
--
; ,,
--
 
-
"?
Is such the fast that I have chosen, the day for aman to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will
you call this a fast and an acceptable day to Hashem?” A
true, acceptable fast, says Hashem, is one on which Bnei
Yisrael “lose the shackles of wickedness” and “deal the breadto their hungry” – 
that is, they abandon their
aveirot
and begin to do
mitzvot
.In its own right, this is an essential message of YomKippur. Yom Kippur is not an automatic erase of all
aveirot
 from the past year
 – 
it requires work: true
hitbonenut
and
cheshbon hanefesh
, not to mention
tikkun hamidot
. Evenfasting and other
inuyim
are only means to those ends andare valueless when taken alone.However, upon further analysis of this passage asthe
haftarah
for Yom Kippur, one can derive a largermessage about the nature of the day itself. In the
haftarah,
 this intense message is actually couched in more upbeatmessages using much more hopeful language. The
haftarah
,in fact, does not begin with chapter 58 but with the lasteight verses of chapter 57. These verses exhort Bnei Yisraelto do
teshuvah
but emphasize that Hashem has seen Bnei
10 Tishrei 5774
 

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