Yom Kippur is this coming Friday night and Shabbat. People are petrified with fear about Yom Kippur, and I honestly don't know why. All a person needs to know for Yom Kippur - both in his or her relationship with Hashem and in relationships with one's fellow human - are three sincere words: "Please forgive me."
The Gemara says that Yom Kippur is one of the most joyous days in the Jewish calendar, for it's a day when we return with all our hearts to Hashem and He forgives us of all wrongdoing. What could be better?
No matter what we've done wrong, there's never room for despair. King Menashe committed some unspeakably serious crimes: He killed his father-in-law, the holy prophet Isaiah. Not only did he worship idols, but he put an idol in the Holy Temple. If Hashem forgave King Menashe, He'll certainly forgive any one of us. Do yourself a favor and read all about it in The Secret Opening, my feature article in this week's Yom Kippur issue of Breslev Israel web magazine.
One of my favorite Yom Kippur parables tells about a bunch of smugglers that got caught. The Fake Funeral is a great story for the whole family, to tell during your pre-fast meal this coming Friday afternoon.
Rav Shalom Arush says that Yom Kippur is a thoroughly enjoyable and gratifying day, especially for the tzaddikim. Many of our holy men said that fasting is much easier than eating in holiness. A person can delight in praying from morning until night while getting a vacation from worrying about what to eat and what to drink. Read more in A License to Eat.
Do you remember Academy-Award winning Hollywood Director Paul Mazursky? His very last film was about Breslev and Uman. See Howard Morton's article, When Hollywood met Uman.
Also featured this week:
Racheli Reckles - Dating vs. Dating
Dr. Zev Ballen - Suicide Prevention
Rivka Levy - Anne or Simi?
Rav Nissan Dovid Kivak - The Way Back to Gan Eden
A Gmar Chatima Tova and a wonderful New Year 5775!