Yom Kippur is considered the most sacred day in Judaism. In fact, the ten days in between the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and the day of Yom Kippur are considered the most sacred time of the year. Many non-practicing, non-religious Jews go to Synagogue on that day, fast on that day, take the day to reflect and ask for forgiveness. I too went to Synagogue this year on that day, as I customarily do.
What I found was a completely unexpected, profound and powerful source of inspiration! What I realized on that day, in large part because of the incredibly inspiring and meaningful sermon delivered by Rabbi Nu, is that at its purist core, religion (any religion) is really about personal growth and becoming your best and highest self. What I understood in that moment is that when we strip away all the dogmas, hypocrisies and exploitations that unfortunately often get put on religion; when we allow the deeper meaning of what the ideas of religion really stand for to shine – compassion, self-reflection, forgiveness, belief, love, contribution, and so on- then we realize that “religion” is actually about personal growth. It’s actually about becoming your best and highest self. It’s about not squandering your own potential.
From a first-level, sort of surfaced reference point, Yom Kippur is a day on which you’re supposed to ask for forgiveness for any wrongdoings from those you have wronged over the past year. But, the real meaning behind it is the notion of “T’shuva.” That notion literally means coming back or returning to yourself. More specifically, it means returning to your best and highest self. In other words, what Yom Kippur is really about is returning to and becoming your best self. How cool is that?!
In the particular sermon this year that I was fortunate enough to hear, Rabbi Nu spoke about not squandering your potential. He spoke about the fact that each and every one of us has the potential to become our best and highest self. He spoke about not miscarrying that potential that lies within each and every one of us. He spoke about grabbing life by the horns. Today! Not manana. He spoke about being present, and being mindful. He spoke about not allowing the everyday goings on in life to distract us from doing just that. He spoke about returning to our best and highest self. He spoke about personal growth and truly seizing your passion to become the best you that you were meant to be.
And, that’s exactly what we should be doing. Everyday, and not just on a day that is sacred because everyday is sacred. And, all of us – I don’t care what religion you follow or don’t follow, what politics, or what anything you subscribe to. The notion of seizing life, becoming who you were meant to be, your best and highest self, fulfilling your dreams, growing and learning and becoming better and returning to your highest self – that is a universal truth for all mankind from the beginning of time and it always will be. And we should all be living it.
I love that I was inspired in such a way from such an unexpected source, place, and day. I’d love to hear examples of stories – a book, an article, a sermon, a blog post, a video, or something else – that inspire or inspired you to #SeizeYour Passion, become your best self, fulfill your dreams, grab life by the horns, and not miscarry your potential. If you’d like to share that with me, do so in the comments or send me an email at email@example.com. Thank you! And don’t forget to #SeizeYourPassion today and everyday!
Rachel Ellner Lebensohn, Proud Creator & Founder of Seyopa
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