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Published by: outdash2 on Sep 12, 2013
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Vol. 18 Issue #1
Yom Kippur
and will remove their pain. Verse 19
declares that “Hashem has declared peace for the near andthe far.”
 The end of the
(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
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
in hopeful ones.This structure of the
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
that Yom Kippurworks. We know that if we do Yom Kippur right
if we band together as a community and truly do
and askHashem for mercy
we will achieve atonement.It is often wondered why when we say the
“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 
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
and begin to do
.In its own right, this is an essential message of YomKippur. Yom Kippur is not an automatic erase of all
 from the past year
it requires work: true
cheshbon hanefesh
, not to mention
tikkun hamidot
. Evenfasting and other
are only means to those ends andare valueless when taken alone.However, upon further analysis of this passage asthe
for Yom Kippur, one can derive a largermessage about the nature of the day itself. In the
 this intense message is actually couched in more upbeatmessages using much more hopeful language. The
,in fact, does not begin with chapter 58 but with the lasteight verses of chapter 57. These verses exhort Bnei Yisraelto do
but emphasize that Hashem has seen Bnei
10 Tishrei 5774

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