This evening, Jews around the world will begin observing Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), the holiest day of the year. According to Jewish tradition, on Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year), God inscribes each person's fate for the coming year into the Book of Life and waits until Yom Kippur to sign the verdict. I wish us all the be inscribed in the Book of Life.
"Three books are opened in heaven on Rosh Hashana one for the completely wicked one for the completely righteous and one for those in between. The completely righteous are immediately inscribed in the book of life. The completely wicked are immediately inscribed in the book of death. The fate of those in between is suspended until Yom Kippur" writes Rabbi Yohanan. We feel that the last group addresses us all. Those 10 days of Repentance could be seen as a trial of our attitude toward our misdeed
This evening begins the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is a day of deep self-reflection. Many Jews fast and engage in intensive prayers. We wish all those who observe the day an easy and, more importantly, a meaningful fast. May we all have the strength to look inside, admit our wrongdoings and find the courage to initiate change. May you, your family and your loved ones be signed into the book of life.
WHO BY FIRE --- This is a paraphrase of one of the central prayers of the High Holy Day services in the Jewish liturgy, the U'netaneh Kotef. "On Rosh Hashanah it is written and on Yom Kippur it is sealed: how many shall leave this world and how many shall be born into it ... who shall perish by fire, who by water ... but repentance, prayer, and righteous acts soften the evil decree." The plot isn't handed to us all finished -- what you and I do fills in what was incomplete. It's not all fate...