The Ten Days of Repentance – from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur – are a time to reflect on where we each struggle, but also a time to celebrate our capacity to change and to grow. During this time, we face each other and ask for-and grant-forgiveness. What would we like to change in the way we relate to one another? How can we do our part to bring healing to a broken world?
In addition to reflection, discussion, prayer and fasting, (for those who participate), here are some activities you may want to try at home to make this time even more meaningful:
- Write a letter to yourself. On the day before Yom Kippur, gather the family and hand out paper and pencils. Everyone should write a letter to themselves. Choose a topic that is appropriate for the holiday, such as “What I would like to do to be a better person in the coming year” or “Ways I want to continue to grow this year.” Have each person write a letter, seal it in a self-addressed envelope, and put a stamp on it. Just prior to the next Yom Kippur, mail the letters. You and your family members will enjoy receiving these annual letters, which can be used as a reflection tool for the past year. Keep them in a scrapbook, which as your kids grow up, can become a precious record. If you prefer a digital method, try 10Q .
- Use Yizkor, the memorial service. Normally during this memorial service to parents who have passed away, the younger generation shuffles outside. Make it meaningful to your children as well. Take some time prior to Yom Kippur to tell stories and show pictures of your folks to your children. Think about what were some of the most important values they taught you that you would like to pass along.
- Pursue Social Justice. Yom Kippur is a day that focuses on justice. It is a time to think about how we impact that world and the marks that we leave. Turn those thoughts into action. Think about how you and your family can volunteer this year, or ways to try to help others and create a more just world.
At RJDS, we hope we are doing our small part to create a better future for your children, our community, and the world.
On behalf of the RJDS community, I want to wish you all a G’mar Chatimah Tova. Wishing you a meaningful, reflective Yom Kippur.
G’mar Chatimah Tova,