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Neilah & Havdallah - v02 FOR CAPTIONING

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Keep talking. All right? So here we go! Everybody ready? Ready. We're ready. All right, guys, tell you everything. Here we go. Welcome back. If you're- If you're tuning in now you are here for the home stretch. I often compare the davening on the high holidays, you know, by musaf on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur I'm comparing it to like hitting the wall mile 17 or 18 of a marathon. But the truth is, at Neilah this is really more like mile 21, 22, where the slog is real and you haven't yet hit that adrenaline filled stride of the last mile. But we'll get there but we'll get there. So stick it out. For many people, Neilah is a time when we actually stand for the entire time if you can and sing with as much force and power, digging as deeply as we can muster at the end of this day of digging deeply. There is a story about Rabbi Akiva's origins. He is considered the greatest sage, but he wasn't born that way. He was a shepherd. He didn't know the Hebrew alphabet and he went out every day to tend to sheep. And he was 40 years old when one day he was out with the sheep and he noticed water dripping on a rock, water dripping on a rock. Drip, drip, drip, drip. And he stared at it. That was sort of like a burning bush moment for him. He just, he just had an epiphany. And he said, If something as soft as this water can hollow out, can pierce something as hard as this rock. He noticed not only was the water falling on it, but it had cleared a hole. It had worn a hole right through the rock, he said, then Torah surely can pierce my heart. And he put down his staff and he went to go learn Torah and he had to sit with the children in the kindergarten to learn the alphabet, and day by day he learned letter by letter, and over the next many decades he became the greatest sage that Israel ever knew. By Neilah, by this moment in the afternoon on Yom Kippur, I imagine that we are like the rock. You know, we come here sort of like that rock and the events of our lives the annoyances, the challenges, the things we said, the things other people said to us drip, drip, drip and we just sort of, we shake it off, we move on, we push forward, we don't let it get us down. We and at some point we are actually invited to, made better by, breaking, breaking open, opening up the doors of our hearts, of our egos. We open the ark at Neilah for the purpose of standing close to the Torah and having our heart touch heart. And so, as we go into this Neilah amidah I want to invite you to be open. Even more open than you've been, and see what may pour out but also what may come in. And my hope for you is that it transforms you as powerfully as Rabbi Akiva was transformed. And for all of us that we are open to evolving, to learning, to growing in this coming year for health and for goodness, for ourselves and for everybody else around us. Let's daven. So Neilah is the closing of the gates technically, but somehow, with the notion that the gates of heaven are closing suddenly the words that appear in the liturgy are so much more opening. Open for us the gates of righteousness. Open for us. We're knocking on your door, open for us, for our people, for all people. The gates of light and blessing. And so we're knocking, we're knocking on heaven's door and we're inviting ourselves to open up just a little bit more. Somehow the urgency of the closing makes us a little more open. I invite you to share what gate or gates you need. You need to open for yourself or maybe need a little bit of help from on high to open for you. For open- To open for all of us. We are knocking on your door, compassionate one. Don't turn us away empty handed. Open up for us the gates of light. Blessing. The gates of rejoicing. The gates of happiness, the gates of beauty. The gates of a good reputation. The gates of merit, the gates of delight, the gates of purity and salvation. The gates of cleansing, and the gates of a good heart. The gates of pardon and consolation. The gates of forgiveness. The gates of help. The gates of making a good living and the gates of righteousness. Shaarei kommiyim, shaarei r'fuah shleimah. The gates of self respect. The gates of full health, the gates of peace and the gates of teshuvah. We're gonna turn to 390. Okay. You lovingly gave us this day of Yom Kippur. A day of forgiveness, of pardon, of cleansing, A day which provides forgiveness for our sins against you, the ones we did to each other. That's what we need to figure out now. On this day and in days to come remember us with goodness. Provide us with blessing. Enable us to live. Have compassion on us, through us. Help us help us help each other. Our eyes are directed toward you and we know that you and we can be kind and compassionate. All right. We're coming in on the home stretch. We're getting there. I needed a change of scenery. Um, I'm thinking about as we go into this last confessional, This last be vidui I'm thinking about a moment. My first year of rabbinical school. You know, everybody goes into rabbinical school wanting to grow, wanting to learn, basically wanting to be the rabbi that they never had. Wanting to become a saint. Tzaddik. And so we lay ourselves at the feet of our teachers, of our deans, of our professors, of our rebbes and say, teach me how to be wise, you know? And so I walked in one day to the beit midrash, to the area where we all studied. But there was only one person sitting in there, and he was sitting there with his pencil, tapping his head. Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap tap. His foot was going on the floor. Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap. He was clearly very nervous and having a hard time writing whatever it was that he was writing. He had a blank sheet of paper in front of him. I said, um, what you doing there? And he said, well, Reb Mimi gave me an assignment. He had been working with Reb Mimi. What's the assignment? What's what's so hard? He said. I've been sitting here for 45 minutes, and I can't think of one thing I like about myself. His assignment was to think of one thing, actually, 13 things he liked about himself, and he couldn't even get number one down on paper. Dr Brene Brown talks about courage, what it takes to be courageous, what it takes to be creative publicly. And when people think of courage, they often think of you know, somebody who's impenetrable, who doesn't have fear, who doesn't, you know, who just goes right in headlong into whatever the dangerous or, um, unlikely situation is without hesitation. Without fearing failure. That's courage. And what she has discovered through a decade and a half of research is courage is not not feeling fear. Courage is feeling fear and vulnerability and embracing it, knowing it, even coming to love it, certainly recognizing it, naming it, not allowing vulnerability to get in the way of who we are. Actually incorporating it into who we are. And so one of the biggest reasons why we don't, why why we don't go there, why we don't share our fears and our vulnerabilities, the ways that we're feeling insecure or unfinished. Why we don't share that stuff is because we're ashamed and what is shame. Shame is the fear that people won't love you anymore. It's the fear of disconnection, and so what we do on Yom Kippur with the this, you know, with the confessional, the naming Ashamnu, Bagadnu, we have been wrong. We have rebelled. We have sinned. We have lied. We have cheated. We have given people bad advice. All of this stuff I just want you to notice we're not saying I am bad. We're saying I did something wrong. There's a difference between guilt and shame. Guilt is I did something wrong. Shame is I am unlovable. I am unworthy. We're not going for shame here. Shame gets in the way of growth. Shame doesn't actually promote growth. You know, any parent knows this. You know, the last thing you want is for your kid to say I am stupid. I am dumb. I can't do this, right? And yet, as adults, we get into these patterns of self talk and then and then get so invested in them that we can't even think of one thing we like about ourselves. Now, of course, if you're one of those people who just thinks you're amazing all the time so then you know, maybe this particular kavanah, this drash, isn't for you. But for everyone else we're going to now go into Ashamnu Bagadnu. That's not the things we did wrong. We're going to go into a confessional of naming some of the things that we did right. Some of the ways that we were present, Not that we necessarily succeeded even but that we tried. That we cried, that we loved, that we were actually right. And my hope and my prayer as we go into the new year, of course, we've got a name the ways and the places that we and other people around us do wrong, not are bad but, you know, missed the mark. And we offer that feedback lovingly and in a way that doesn't shame somebody you know, but allows them to hear you and to grow. But I think more powerful. And this isn't exactly my bright idea. This is just positive reinforcement is how do we find the things that are good? How do we look for the good? You're going to hear this as one of the- as one of these confessionals. Mitzinu et ha-tov. We found the good. How do we look for the good? Amplify the good. Name the good. Help ourselves and one another repeat the good. I know, for me, that's sometimes hard. That's something I would like to commit to more and more and more in the year to come. And Lord knows our world needs more amplifying the good at the very same time as we're naming the things where the mark has been missed. So, uh, if you're not already standing, I invite you to stand as we go into our next confessional. Rav Kook says his commentary, therefore If our prayer books air like an archaeological tell of different prayers from different eras, layered one on top of the other, the prayer that were about to say the priestly blessing is the bottom layer of the tel. It's the oldest Jewish texts that we have archaeological evidence for. It comes from the Book of Numbers in the Torah, in which God tells Moses to instruct his brother, Aaron, and the other priests to channel blessing for the Israelites. And we still say the words of this ancient blessing today, traditionally said by kohanim, people who are descendants of this original family of priests. And it's not that the kohanim are actually blessing the people. What we're doing, you'll see me say this prayer in just a minute. What we're doing is channeling this ancient blessing that's been passed down generation to generation to generation. It's like ringing a doorbell that God wakes up to every morning. The tradition is that the kohanim raised their hands with their fingers spread and that the light of divinity shines directly between the fingers. So some people have a tradition to look away because we're not supposed to look at God's face. And the idea is that as the kohanim, as the priests channel this blessing God's presence is actually coming directly through. Maybe it kind of thrills you to look. You'll see that I put my tallit over my head with the tzitzit the strings wrapped around my fingers bringing in all of these different traditions, calling up all of this ancient history to offer this ancient blessing that is so simple. About favor and peace and goodness in our lives. So I invite you during this blessing to consider closing your eyes, putting your hands over your hearts, seeing if you can feel the warmth of having this ancient blessing trickle down even today in this somewhat untraditional way but knowing that it connects us to the very beginnings of Jewish prayer. In the book of life and blessing and peace and good livelihood, may we be remembered and sealed by you. We, all of your people, the house of Israel and all people for a good life and for peace. If you were seated before we invite you to stand up for one last pleading connection, Avinu malkeinu. Patah sha'arei shamayim Itefilateinu - Open wide the gates for our prayers to come through, to pierce them. We're just gonna do the Avinu malkeinu right at the end. Honeinu v'aneinu ki ein Kanu ma'asim. We closed the ark. In many ways, as we go into this shema, this is a moment of transition into everything that's to come in the new year and in our new selves. This shema that we do, that first line once, that second line three times. And that last line seven times is just exactly the same as the shema you say at bedside, right as someone is transitioning out of this life and into the next. And rather than experiencing that in this moment with sadness in this moment, we recognize that we are here. You are here and we have the opportunity to really live. Let's use it for blessing. So much of this moment havdallah is just holding on with all of our senses to everything that we've just been through in this past day and so seeing by the light of the fire, smelling, touching and tasting. If you don't already have a glass of wine or something tasty to bring you into the corporeal world here at the end of Yom Kippur bringing you back into the world of tasting and touching and smelling and and singing more and and really reveling in all of the senses that make being alive such a gift. Um, so take a moment now. Get yourself, get your- if you've got a havdallah candle, go grab it. Um, if you've got a glass of wine, go grab it. If you, if you got like two individual birthday candles that you have laying around from the last you know, birthday you had in your house, you can hold them together and make a havdallah candle. All you need is two wicks together, really symbolizing a kind of unity out of out of separateness that Judaism is all about trying to remind us that we're part of, um and so we're gonna bless. We're gonna bless all these different senses and bring ourselves in to the new year and our new selves, which is- with as much consciousness and presence and love as we can bring to this moment. Take a sip of that wine or whatever it is you are drinking, Once you have, you can extinguish the flame in that cup. When everyone with a flame, if you want to take a moment to put it out by whatever means. That's Yom Kippur. Cut.

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Duration: 1 hour, 4 minutes and 6 seconds
Country: Andorra
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 3
Posted by: open on Sep 24, 2020

Neilah & Havdallah - v02 FOR CAPTIONING

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