Weekly Sidra: Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
Torah Portion: Vayikra / Leviticus 16:1-16:34
Maftir: Bamidbar / Numbers 29:7 – 29:11
Haftorah: Yeshayahu / Isaiah 57:14 – 58:14
Yom Kippur is a day when, according to Leviticus we “afflict our souls”. This is taken to mean that we fast for approximately 25 hours from Sundown to Sundown.
The Haftarah portion for this day advises of the type of fast in which HaShem delights.
The prophet Isaiah asks
“Why, when we fasted, did You not see?
When we starved our bodies, did You pay no heed?"
Because on your fast day
You see to your business
And oppress all your laborers!” (Isaiah 58:3)
Rule 1: Focus on HaShem instead of focussing on your work. How often we are in synagogue, but our mind and heart is somewhere else.
Because you fast in strife and contention,
And you strike with a wicked fist!
your fasting today is not such
As to make your voice heard on high. (Verse 4)
Rule 2: We cannot love HaShem if we have strife and bitterness against others. We must reconcile with others before we can reconcile with HaShem.
No, this is the fast I desire:
To unlock the fetters of wickedness,
And untie the cords of the yoke
To let the oppressed go free;
To break off every yoke.
It is to share your bread with the hungry,
And to take the wretched poor into your home;
When you see the naked, to clothe him,
And not to ignore your own kin. (Verses 6, 7)
Rule 3: Instead of ignoring oppression we must seek justice. If we cannot love others we cannot say we love HaShem.
If you refrain from trampling the Sabbath,
From pursuing your affairs on My holy day;
If you call the Sabbath "delight,"
The Lord’s holy day "honored"; (verse 14a)
Rule 4: In order to show HaShem honour we must honour His ways. One of the most important, if not the most important, commandment is to revere the Sabbath day and keep it holy. We are constantly being reminded to keep Shabbat and yet there are many who blatantly choose to ignore it or make up their own rules.
So this Yom Kippur remember to focus on HaShem, to seek forgiveness of others, to pursue justice and mercy and to honour HaShem by keeping His Torah. This will truly help us to have a meaningful fast.
Tags: bamidbar, bitterness, day of atonement, fetters, focussing, heed, holy day, isaiah 58, laborers, prophet isaiah, quot, Sabbath, sidra, strife, sundown, torah portion, vayikra, wickedness, yoke, yom kippur
More Related Articles: