by Azriel Friedman 3 practical steps to becoming great.
Did you ever have a waiter with a big fake smile? Your reaction may have been: “This guy has no interest in serving me. I’m only tipping him the minimum.”
I used to show up on Yom Kippur acting like that waiter. I was willing to play nice. But really I couldn’t wait to get out of shul, and on with my life. God was probably not thrilled with my service.
The first step to preparing for Yom Kippur is to know that God is interested in you exactly as you are now. Pretending doesn’t help. God is acutely aware what is wrong with each one of us and wants to help us get better. He wants us in synagogue for one reason only – to help us become bigger and happier people. Yom Kippur is about being “real” with who we are.
Imagine having a hernia and telling the doctor you are suffering from indigestion. Not only can’t he help, he may even prescribe a medicine that makes you sicker. The same is true on Yom Kippur. We only get the full impact of the day when we make a sincere and honest effort to discover what we can do to be bigger people.
When it comes to making real changes our Jewish sources quote God as saying: “Open for me a hole the size of a needle, and I’ll open it as wide as a huge hall.”
This tells us that we don’t need to make impressive-yet-cosmetic changes in our life. We need to make a small and very real change that will remain permanent. Because when we make even a small-yet-honest effort to change, we get unbelievable help from above.
Below is a short Yom Kippur preparation guide. I hope it will us honestly help us face who we are to become greater people.
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