Monday, October 6, 2008
What can we know about G-d? Yom Kippur: Uniting with the Essence
An excellent article by Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, which I always recommend to beginners in Judaism (and theology in general) asking a question: “What do you mean, we cannot know anything about G-d? Isn’t it practically the same as not believing in G-d?”
After reading this article, think about this: on Wednesday night and on Thursday, if you are Jewish you connect not to a “Fingertip”, but to the Beyond. On Rosh HaShana, you declared G-d the King — you do this by saying: “I will be one of your nation. I will connect my will to your will.” Rosh HaShana is not the day of Creation of the world; it is the day of creation of Human. Because the world was created for the purpose of Human forging a relationship with G-d — which is stronger, when it is done through the physical matter of the world (by definition, this world hides G-d; therefore, when you make the world a dwelling place for G-d’s Will, you reveal His Unity and Absolute Truth to the extent, which is impossible in the upper worlds).
On Yom Kippur, you are saying: We will not let the world be a barrier between me and G-d. The world is the interface; it doesn’t exist for itself. The descent I made into this seemingly G-dless world is to meet not the Manifestation of G-d, but the Essence of G-d itself. The descent of my birth was for the ascent achieved during my life. The descent of every sin I did throughout this year was for the ascent of teshuva that has an ability of turning a sin into a mitzvah: when I cry out from the distance from G-d (caused by my sin and by this world), the cry brings me closer to G-d than I was before I fell. (No, you cannot sin for the purpose of later teshuva — it doesn’t work that way.)
On Yom Kippur your sins loose their significance and existence, because you are achieving a unity of the Essence of the world, Essence of your soul and Essence of the Infinite G-d. Let it happen speedily, in our days, that we witness the coming of Mashiach and this unity becomes b’giluy — in a revealed way; both physically and spiritually.
See also this post on Simple Jew’s blog — what is taking shoes off on Yom Kippur all about? Where is the balance between being completely immersed into the world and being an ascetic removed from it?