A Yom Kippur Story
Shabbat and Yom Kippur
September 14, 2013 – 10 Tishrei 5774
A Yom Kippur Story
A Hasidic tale tells of a conversation between a Rabbi and a Soap Maker.
The Soap Maker was troubled by a theological conundrum.
“Rabbi,” he asked, puzzled, “why is it that we have been studying our sacred Torah for thousands of years? It teaches us values of truth, kindness, compassion and love. Yet, if we look at the world, all we see is lies, meanness, apathy and violence. Why has not the Torah succeeded in helping us do teshuvah–changing our lives for the better?”
As the two were strolling along the street they came upon a young boy, dirty and grimy from head to foot.
Said the Rabbi to the Soap Maker: “What good is the soap you make? It has been around for years and years, and yet look at this dirty little boy. Why hasn’t your soap helped to make little boys more clean and neat?”
The Soap Maker replied: “Well, soap is no good unless you use it!”
“Aha!” replied the Rabbi. “So it is with the Torah. Unless we apply its teaching to our daily lives, and cleanse our immoral souls with its moral values, it is of no use.”
The U-Netaneh Tokef prayer teaches us that three things will help us change and purify our lives: Teshuvah, Tefillah, u-Tzedakah
. However, they are useless unless we take them seriously, and put them into practice in our daily lives.
(taken from Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins’ book, Yom Kippur Readings, p. 151)
I take this opportunity to wish you an easy fast and a meaningful Yom Kippur. May you and your loved ones be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life for a good year, and may this be a year of joy and of peace, and of fulfillment, for us, for all the people Israel, and for all people everywhere!
Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova!
Rabbi Gilah Dror
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