The Existential Wholeness of Yom Kippur

Tech Tribe Dispatch #34

Think:

There’s a painting that’s often used in Jewish art calendars and brochures about Yom Kippur. It's by Maurycy Gottlieb, a 19th century Jewish painter from Poland.
It depicts traditional Yom Kippur services with Chasidic Jews in Galicia.
Maurycy was born to such a family.
Black and white talleisim, fur hats, somber faces. The traditional stuff.

But, if you look closely at the painting, you'll notice there’s something a little different. In the middle of the crowd is Maurycy himself. Unlike everyone else in darker clothes, he's wearing colors. Look carefully, he's in the painting two more times. As a child on the bottom left and then as an adolescent with his father on the right.

He's journeying, he's finding himself, a questioner and a wanderer.

Perhaps like Joseph of the multicolored coat, he may be in strange lands.

He's come from somewhere and he's done so much to get where he is now - but how does that current him fit into the tapestry of his past?

Many Jews sense a struggle with their identities. They’re proud to be Jewish, but what does that mean? Who am I when I’m Jewish?

On Yom Kippur we recite the Al Cheitten times during the five prayers of this holiest of holy days. In Kabbalah there are ten facets of the soul, five levels of how the sould descends into this world.

We’re diving inward on Yom Kippur - peeling back the layers of the soul until we get to the essence. We don’t need to eat, we don’t need to drink, we’re beyond all of that. We’ve taken a deep dive into the essence of our souls.

When we reach the core, there is no alienation, there is no more sense of Jewish dysphoria. There is only self - true self.

The fifth prayer of Yom Kippur is traditionally called Neilah, the closing of the Heavenly gates. In Chasidic thought, this is a moment of personal audience with G-d. We’re alone with our Creator. Source with source, deep calling unto deep. There is nothing else. Wrong and evil don’t exist there. And when we reach that level, the wholeness we experience is brought into the entire mundane year.

Gmar Chatima Tova - may we be sealed for a good sweet year.


Do:

Still looking for Yom Kippur services?
Join our friends Hadas Gallery + Synagogue for High Holy Days for the Arts.

New year? New chance to get your own Mezuzah!

We’re also SUPER excited to share our latest event:
Matchmaker Matchmaker App Me A Match on November 7th!

Mazel Me!


Read

Why is it that Jews of all backgrounds fill the pews of Chabad? My friend and colleague Rabbi Eliezer Zalmanov in Munster, Indiana shares his thoughts.

From my archive: How Emoji help us understand the High Holidays.

A Rabbi in El Paso shares how his community began to heal.

The Rosh Hashanah Kabbalah of Paul Rudd

Tech Tribe Dispatch #33

Think:

Rosh Hashanah begins tonight at sundown.
It’s a serious day, a day of solemn prayers and tradition. We look at our past, inspect our deeds and repent.
Then, ten days later we gather once more for Yom Kippur. That too is a serious, a day of solemn prayer. We look at our past, inspect our deeds and repent.

At least, that’s how Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are thought to be in popular imagination.

Two serious, solemn days, with little between them besides some apples and honey on one and no apples or honey on the other.

Whats really going on over here?

In chasidic thought, Rosh Hashanah isn’t just the new year - it’s the head of the year - it’s the point from which the energy and blessings for the entire year stem. It’s the moment where we crown G-d king of the universe. The shofar blast is the cry of the heart, the wordless primordial scream of the essence.
It’s deep calling out unto deep.

Yes we repent - but in the Jewish sense, we return. We peel back the layers of our soul to find that internal wholeness within. We look in and connect to the very essence of our being, where it is one with the essence of the Divine.

That’s what true return is: the understanding that what we thought we lost was never really gone. We may have been estranged - estranged from ourselves, from our inner depth, but it was always there. And it’s perfect . . . and that is Rosh Hashanah:
When we touch the core of our being and cry out - not in pain, but in *being.*

We are perfect Jews - we need only look inward and get in touch with that perfection.

Shana Tova! May this year be a year of blessings.

Art by Michael Gac Levin

Do

Need high holiday services this Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur? Join our friends Hadas Gallery + Synagogue for High Holy Days for the Arts.

New year? New chance to get your own Mezuzah!

Tech Tribe has some epic plans for 5780. In the meantime, please consider joining our High Holiday Appeal

Mitzvah Me


Read:

Hey Alma joined in on the Paul Rudd ‘Perfected Jew’ bit, picking up on our initial tweet. Check it out.

Enjoy our new 80s (5780 perhaps?) Dispatch banner by Sefira Creative? Find out how the how the light grid defined 1980s Futurism.

11 Reasons Why We Blow the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah

Shana Tova!

You Were Made to Blossom! 🌸

Tech Tribe Dispatch #32

Think:

The Baal Shem Tov once taught: It is written, "For you (the Jewish people) shall be a land of desire, says the L-rd of Hosts"
Just as the greatest scientists will never discover the limits of the enormous natural resources which the Almighty has sunk into the land - for we can tap into renewable forms of energy to power us - neither will anyone ever find the limits of the great treasures which lie within each of us - G‑d's "land of desire."

The Baal Shem Tov concluded: I want to make the Jewish people yield the kind of produce which the Almighty's "land of desire" is truly capable of yielding.
GIF Source

Painting by Hendel Lieberman

Links:

With people are the world marching because of Climate Change, What we can still learn from the Lubavitcher Rebbe about climate change.

Worlds collide! Rebecca Baird-Remba and Toby Moskovits, both friends of Tech Tribe, sat down to talk about Toby’s journey as an Orthodox women in the world of Brooklyn real estate.

Making the rounds on the web, a photographer edited out smartphones from photos, highlighting how we can be both together, and alone


Do:

Rosh Hashanah is coming! Grab a seat at our table.

As well, Rosh Hashanah Office visits are next week! Have Tech Tribe bring pumpkin spice honey cake to your office! Only a few limited slots left!

Shabbat Shalom!

Loading more posts…