Are your chests still sensitive from all the confessional “Al Chet’s” we recited in Shul over Yom Kippur???

Mine is.

But WOW!!! What an uplifting and inspiring Yom Kippur we experienced at Maroubra Shul! A few people requested that I write up some of the ideas that I shared with you over Yom Tov. So here is one that I gave over in Shul right before reciting the “Al Chet” of Mussaf.

But WOW!!! What an uplifting and inspiring Yom Kippur we experienced at Maroubra Shul! A few people requested that I write up some of the ideas that I shared with you over Yom Tov. So here is one that I gave over in Shul right before reciting the “Al Chet” of Mussaf.Why do we beat our chests during the confessional prayers of  “Al Chet” on Yom Kippur? What are we trying to achieve? Is it a form of self-affliction? Or a way to wake ourselves up after a long day??

Why do we beat our chests during the confessional prayers of  “Al Chet” on Yom Kippur? What are we trying to achieve? Is it a form of self-affliction? Or a way to wake ourselves up after a long day??

May I suggest the following: While most think that YK is about repenting from what we have done, perhaps it is more about repenting for what we have not felt.

You see, going through life each day we sometimes shut down our hearts and our feelings. There is just so much happening around us all the time! The world is so crowded, with so many stories competing for our attention. And in all the chaos, we sometimes grow callous to the sadness and joy of life. But this is not the way it should be. The joys and pains in the world should touch us and move our hearts. They should inspire us to reach out to another person and to mend a broken heart.

Comes Yom Kippur and allows us to stop. On this day we beat our hearts because they have grown sluggish from the pressures of everyday life. We strike our heart, in the hope that it will beat more powerfully and passionately in the year ahead. The Al Chet is a Jewish defibrillator. A few good, sharp knocks to the chest gets the heart sensitised anew.

If I have achieved one thing over Yom Tov it would be this. To inspire each of us to become a little less self-concerned and more PRESENT in the lives of our families, our community and all those who may be seeking our attention.

So yes, I hope you chests are still sensitive from the beatings it received and may this sensitivity remain in your hearts for the coming year!

Wishing you all a year where your cup overflows – filled with every blessing!

Looking forward to seeing you all back in shul over the weekend and for Sukkot. We’ve done all the hard work over Rosh hashana and Yom Kippur, it’s now time to celebrate!

Shabbat Shalom ve’Chag Sameach!

Rabbi Yossi and Chana Raizel Friedman