Yom Kippur 5774, September 14, 2013 was a very beautiful day in the southeast USA. Although I am a Bnei Noach and am not commanded to observe the day as a Jew, I did take some time to do some reflecting.
There was a slight breeze blowing and the temps were in the low 70s. I was outside taking a few photos of the changing colors of the leaves. I decided would grab a chair and sit out in the drive to read a bit and talk with G-d about a few things.
I have been reading a book on healing the soul from a Chasidic Rebbe who died in the holocaust. I have my own book that I have started writing on the subject and what I am learning from this book will be added to my own.
I live out in the country on about 7 wooded acres. I sat there facing Israel with the sun shining through the trees. The breeze was shaking loose many things, the aroma and sounds of Fall was all around me.
I sat and read and discussed personal things with G-d and enjoyed the world that He had placed me in. As I sat there I also got quiet and listened. As I listened a question came to mind.
Why was this time of year chosen by G-d to be Yom Kippur – why at the beginning of Fall, when seasons were changing?
In my stillness, G-d gave me an answer that I could understand. All I had to do was to look into His creation for the answer. As the great Breslev Rebbe, Rabbi Nachman teaches us that everything in the world around us is messages from G-d to us. We just have to listen.
When I looked around me on this wonderful Yom Kippur morning the breeze had sent me the answers. As I looked around me lying together on the ground were dead and dying leaves, twigs and acorns.
I examined what was before me even took a photo of what I saw. I pondered what I was being shown and this is what I saw.
It was Yom Kippur, a day that G-d had placed at this particular time of year for the Jews to have a meeting with Him. As a Bnei Noah I am not permitted in this meeting but we can have our own meeting with Him from where He has placed us. And the lesson of the day was:
Together with the dead and dying there is life. On this day when and at any time we make t’shuva/repentance and in the midst of forgiveness; the dead things fall away from us and with it there is life.
The dead leaves, twigs and acorn are there to show us that at the time when G-d forgives us of our sin as in the meaning of Yom Kippur – the dead falls away and at the same time the acorns that are full of life falls as well. They fall to the ground together and are planted, death and life both come from the earth – the dead returns to its original place and out of that same place that death falls, life springs forth. The acorn is a power house, it contains a mighty oak in its future and also it sustains life for those animals that rely on it for food. At this time of year G-d set the day that represents forgiveness in the fall where we have all the pictures of life and death together at one time.
Death and life is the complete picture of forgiveness – forgiveness is death to our past sins and is also new life for the future – forgiveness not only contains life itself like the acorn, it also sustains the living that depends on it.
Terry W. Hayes