Yom Kippur used to be spent all day long in shul, in intense prayer and thought. I remember a particular Yom Kippur. It was my first Yom Kippur after becoming more religiously observant. Every moment was spent in total devotion and awe. The connection I felt that day was truly indescribable. Swaying in my seat, eyes closed shut, I felt completely connected and focused. Fast forward a few years later…my first Yom Kippur as a young mother. Since my son was just 7 months old, and I was nursing him, I spent majority of the day with just him. I was able to sneak in a few minutes here and there of davening at home during nap time, and even spent an hour in shul, while my husband watched the baby. But, overall my day was spent feeding, changing and playing with my son.
While part of me longed for my special day of prayer and contemplation of years previous, I mostly felt connected in a different, more meaningful way. Every feeding reminded me of how Hashem sustains us in the world. Watching the vulnerability of a baby, and caring for that baby, is a humbling experience. We all come into this world completely relying on those around us to take care of our every need. We eventually grow up and become ‘independent’. But, in essence we are all still just newborns being cared for by our Father, Hashem. And while when I was single I was able to spend the day as a ‘newborn’, now I am the caretaker and see just what it means to be a baby, relying on others, like a person relying on G-d.
May our connection and prayers be heard this coming Yom Kippur, and may we be inscribed in the book of life. Gmar Chatima tova!
For a meaningful Yom Kippur check out this inspiring shiur from Naaleh.com on Jewish unity: