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Holy of Holies

Holy of Holies

Vehakohanim

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And when the Priests and the people standing in the Temple Court heard the glorious and awesome Name fully pronounced issuing from the mouth of the High Priest...

In the Reader's Repetition of the Additional Service (Musaf) on Yom Kippur there is a description of the procedure in the Temple on this day.

The High Priest would pronounce the Divine Name which is otherwise never heard. Hearing this, the people would prostrate themselves. He would also enter the Holy of Holies. Yom Kippur is the only day when anyone could enter this most sacred place. Only the High Priest would go there, as the representative of the entire Jewish people.

Today the Temple does not yet stand again in Jerusalem, but there is a Temple in the heart of every Jew. Each one of us, man or woman, is the High Priest in our own Temple within.

On Yom Kippur we enter the Holy of Holies and make contact with the Divine Power which dwells within us.

The challenge for each person is to find a way to harness this immense power and to use it in a positive way during the weeks and months ahead. Jewish teaching is the guide, showing how the inner Divine power can be expressed in every aspect of life.

Hence Yom Kippur is a good time for making resolutions about strengthening one's relationship with Jewish teaching and Jewish law.

It is a joyous time of spiritual freedom with fresh opportunities to make a permanent step forward in life. Although we fast, and the mood of the day is serious, Yom Kippur is a time of inner joy.

By Dr. Tali Loewenthal, Director of Chabad Research Unit, London, UK, and a frequent contributor to the Chabad.org weekly Torah reading section; based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
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