Yom Kippur – Yom HaKadosh – “The Holiest Day”
By: Rabbi Yisroel Jungreis
Merits for Yom Kippur
One of the emotional prayers that we recite from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur is Avinu Malkainu. The source of this prayer occurred when there was a drought in Eretz Yisroel and our Sages declared a day of fasting and prayer. Rabbi Eliezer led the congregation in prayers but no rain fell. Then his student Rabbi Akiva began with Avinu Malkainu, “our Father our King Ain Lon Melech Ela ATA, we have no King but you”. Avinu Malkainu, have compassion upon us and the rain began to fall. The Rabbis began to murmur against Rabbi Eliezer. A Bas Kol heavenly voice went forth and declared it’s not that Rabbi Akiva is greater but Rabbi Akiva has a great merit. He is “Mavir Al Midosov,” a forgiving person and HaShem acted likewise towards him and forgave the sins of the people and blessed them with rain (Taanis 25).
This is a great merit as we approach Yom Kippur. In fact, the Talmud says HaShem loves three kinds of people: one who does not get angry, one who does not get drunk, and one who is forgiving (Pesachim 113). When a person is wrong you must give in. However, when you are right and you do not stand on your rights and you still give in this will act as a shield of protection for a person. The Talmud says “Kol Hamavir Al Midosov Mavirin Al Kol Pishov” when one forgives his or her due measure and does not insist on demanding what is due to them, then HaShem in turn forgives their worst sin.
Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky was asked can a younger sister become engaged before her older sister, if this is the family custom or should she wait so not to hurt her older sister’s feelings. He explains if the older sister will be mivater give in on her rights HaShem will help her find her zivug her life partner. The Talmud tells the story of Rav Huna who was deathly ill and came back as they say from the dead. He had an out of body experience. His students asked him “Rebbe what did you experience?” He explained that he faced the heavenly tribunal and the Malachim (Angels) said that since Rav Huna has a trait of forgiveness, he is a mivater and we will give him another chance.
Rabbi Elyashiv the great Tzadik was in the hospital over Shabbos and they needed a person to read the Torah. His assistant noticed a teenager in the hallway and asked him, “Can you read the Torah?” He said. “I can only read this week’s portion.” After he read the Torah, the boy’s father told Rabbi Elyashiv the story behind the story.
Three years ago my son prepared his Torah reading for his Bar Mitzva he spent an entire year preparing the portion. A few months before that Shabbos the person whom we did the arrangements from the Shul realized that he double booked the Shabbos for another Bar Mitzva and the other Bar Mitzva boy also wanted to read his portion. My son told me, “Abba let him have it. It’s okay.”
After one year of preparation my son was a mivater, he gave up his rights. Rabbi Elyashev asked, “Why are we in the hospital?” We told the Rabbi that my wife has a severe infection that the doctors are unable to diagnose. A specialist was seeing Rabbi Elyashiv the following day and also saw this boy’s mother. He was able to diagnose the problem and one week later she was discharged.
When repeating this story, Rebbitzen Kanievsky (who was the daughter of Rabbi Eliyshev), would say perhaps in the merit of this boy being a mevater he was able to read the Torah for the great Tzadik and in turn was able to save his mother’s life. The great power and merit of giving and being mevater is a powerful Segulah for Yom Kippur.
It is customary for parents to bless their children before going to synagogue because the gates of compassion are already open. One should try to receive blessings from Torah Scholars and grandparents. Parents should plead with HaShem with tearful eyes that their prayers should be accepted
Seder Hoavodah -The Temple Service
The Kohain Gadol would say Anah HaShem, “I beg you HaShem to forgive my sins and those of the nation.” They would kneel and bow and say Baruch Shem Kavod Malchusa Liolam Voed !
Neilah- Closing of the Gates
Open the gates of Heaven as it is closing. The sun will set and be gone let us come to your gates. I have placed my reliance on the Thirteen Attributes and on the gates of tears for they are never closed. May it be your will who hears the sound of weeping that you place our tears in your flask permanently and rescue us from all cruel decrees.
May HaShem answer everyone’s prayers. Wishing everyone “Gmar Chasima Tova. Lishanah Haboh Birushalayim”.
May The Torah Studied Bring an Aliyah to the Neshama of Meshulem ע׳׳ה Ben Yisroel Halevi