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"Next Year in Jerusalem!"

By Tzvi Fishman
10/6/2011, 7:10 PM

On the day before Yom Kippur, there is a custom which many people practice, called Kapparot, whereby a rooster is waved around one’s head, then slaughtered. Ever wonder why? I’ll give you a hint. Our Sages have warned us not to be like roosters with our wives. A Jew is called upon to sanctify himself, even in matters that are permitted to him. If you enjoy Kabbalah, the Arizal explains this custom in greater detail at the beginning of his discussion of Yom Kippur in the book “Shar HaKavanot.”

In fact, all of Yom Kippur deals with Tikun HaBrit, rectifying our sexual transgressions. You’ll find lots of fascinating insights in the essay, “Yom Kippur and Rectifying the Brit,” posted on our website. If all of these insights are true (and who are we to doubt the Torah wisdom of the Arizal, Rabbi Nachman, the Sfat Emet, and the Chatam Sofer), then why have the majority of us never been taught all of these exalted matters? Perhaps the most diplomatic answer is to be found in the teaching of Kohelet that to everything there is a time (Kohelet, 3:1). In our age of wanton sexual transgression, the time has certainly come.

I would like to take this opportunity to ask forgiveness of any and all readers whom I may have offended. I have tried to present the truth, and nothing but the truth in this blog, always for educational purposes, out of deep love and concern for my brothers, but sometimes the truth hurts. Writing for the Internet is not a simple matter. The audience is so widespread and vast, with so many different types of readers, that you are bound to upset someone. Plus, my style of writing is sometimes very strong, often employing humor and exaggeration for effect, and this may be a little like the famous bull in the proverbial china shop. So, I sincerely ask your forgiveness, and I will strive to be gentler in the future, with an emphasis on adding light, rather than exposing the darkness.

May you and all the Jewish People be inscribed in the Book of Life for a wonderful year of happiness, prosperity, health and shalom.

Hatima tova!

And pay attention to our very last request at the end of Yom Kippur:

“Next Year in Jerusalem!”