The day after Yom Kippur. What now? Here are words said last night by Rabbi Shmuel Vitkin at the KBH shul in New York, just prior to the Ne'ilah service, which can help us this morning:
"This has been a 40 day journey which started on Rosh Chodesh Elul, through all the days of Selichot, Rosh HaShanah, the Ten Days of Repentance, Yom Kippur, until the Ne'ilah prayer. We promise and plan to start anew, though we may seem to ourselves as hypocrites, liars, flatterers. Who are we deceiving? This doesn’t seem to be the real us . After all, we do not act like this throughout the year. But the truth is, that now it is our real true selves, not another mask or costume that we are hiding behind. Now it is for real. Throughout the year we wear a costume – images, external apparels, confusion, things that cause us to forget who we really are. What we are seeing now – is the real us. This is what our soul wants, to be better, different, true. Now the soul prevails over the body, and in the last moments of this journey, we must take something with us, some 'soul food' for the road ahead. Each of us should decide on one thing that they accept upon themselves. One small decision to improve and make a change in our life. Something practical, not something big, but something that will accompany us from now throughout the long year ahead, in case we get far from ourselves. This will nourish us so that we should not forget these moments, so that we should not forget that our soul can prevail over our body."