Friday, September 17, 2010


Erev Shabbos Kodesh/Yom Kippur

9 Tishrei 5771/September 17, 2010

“Yom Kippur… does not atone for sins between people… until he asks his (friend) forgiveness.”

--Rambam (Hilchos Teshuva 2:9)

Moshe: Hey D?

Dovid: s’up?

Moshe: NM – U?

Dovid: K

Moshe: U home for Y’Kppur?

Dovid: Yeah

Moshe: Moichel me?

Dovid: OK – U?

Moshe: Yeah

Dovid: TYVM

Moshe: NP – TTYL in shul

One of the most significant challenges our generation faces is in our inability to communicate properly. We have a hard time expressing our feelings in an appropriate manner and being clear about what we are feeling or thinking.

Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein noted that much of that deficiency is because we are the email and text message generation. One can write an email to a friend and pay little attention to grammar and clarity because if the friend does not understand what was meant, he can just as easily send a second email to explain. Text messages also include coded messages. People don’t seem to speak in full sentences anymore. In fact, people don’t laugh at jokes anymore; they just say “LOL”.

I often have to remind the students in my literature class that they can not ‘text message’ an essay, e.g. “The character in the story thought s/o else would take care of it b4 he got home…”

The truth is that this all has a subtle deleterious effect - not only on our communication with others - but also in our communication with G-d. We have simply lost the ability to cry out and express our concerns and worries to G-d in our own words. But the key to Yom Kippur is being able to do just that. It requires introspection and self-analysis so that we can conjure up the words that express our deepest and most intimate feelings to G-d.

If we don’t know what we want/need, how can we pray? Truthfully we need to pray to G-d that He help us pray to Him. “G-d open my lips, and my mouth will relate your praise.”

May G-d grant every one of us the words to pray to Him that will open the Gates of Heaven to the positive fulfillment of all of our hopes and prayers.

Shabbat Shalom & Good Shabbos

Good Yom Tov & G’mar Chasima Tova,

R’ Dani and Chani Staum