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Yom Kippur 2022

May you grant yourself space and gentleness this Yom Kippur

G’mar tov. My name is Nicole Wiesen. If you are observing Yom Kippur, may you have a meaningful and easy fast. If you are not, I hope this day can be a time where you grant yourself space and gentleness. 

This day is deeply meaningful to me. As I look at the High Holy Days, from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur to Sukkot, I see them differently as a mother who gets to share the things that I experienced growing up with my 12 year old son. I relish this time right now because I get to experience not just what my family gave to me growing up but what I can then impart on my child and the memories we can make together.

My family spends intentional time over Yom Kippur having deep conversations about what happened in the past year and the non-gentleness that we may have shown to each other. We create a space where each person is actually being heard: where we are listening to understand instead of just listening to answer. That valuable time gives us the opportunity to realize that we may not have always been aware of our tone or the circumstance of others. We can be honest about how we have treated one another in a negative or a reactive way. 

Yom Kippur is a time of atonement, compassion and reflection on how we interact with our fellow humans. We bring about compassion and atonement by just sitting quietly with ourselves and looking at all of our interactions with our neighbors throughout the year, regardless of their politics or how they practice religion. When we do that, we can co-create a much kinder, gentler world. 

Whether you are Jewish or not, I encourage you to make space for this reflection today. Listen and learn. Be gentle. Be kind. Care for your life and the life of others.

Nicole Wiesen, MSW, CCTS-I

Atlanta, GA

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