This week we read the double portion of Acharei (after…)/ Kedoshim (Holiness…,

ACHAREI….after the death of the two sons of Aaron, G-d gives Moses the laws regarding the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

The rituals that were performed by the high priest in the Tabernacle on Yom Kippur atoned principally for the collective misdeeds of the community. In contrast, each individual atones for his or her personal misdeeds on Yom Kippur through repentance, fasting and refraining from work on this day.

For on this day, G-d will effect atonement for you in order to purify you. (16:30)

Rather than surgically removing our misdeeds from us, Yom Kippur removes us from our misdeeds, by elevating us above them.

Therefore, the focus on Yom Kippur is on our relationship with G-d rather than our misdeeds per se. What is required from us on this day is to yearn to be reconciled with G-d in a general sense, and to express this yearning by observing Yom Kippur properly.

Yom Kippur elevates us this way because the day itself reveals an intrinsic connection that every Jew shares with G-d by virtue of his or her Divine soul.

This connection has been with us since before creation and therefore not limited to time and space.

It is for this reason that Yom Kippur wipes our slate clean, as nothing in effect can stand between the intrinsic connection between G-d and the Jew.

Have an inspiring Shabbat and successful week to follow.