Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
A new online course
Starting January 22nd
Register »
Contact Us
Yom Kippur is the day that our animal, emotional, intellectual and spiritual selves are linked to form a harmonious one

Day One

Day One


How many are we?

There's our animal self, which hungers and lusts and bares its fangs when its turf is challenged; our emotional self, which loves and fears, exults and agonizes; our intellectual self, which perceives and analyzes and contemplates the other selves with smug detachment; our spiritual self, which strives and yearns, worships and venerates. There's the self you were at the age of 8, and the self you're going to be at 80. There's the self I was last Tuesday, when I woke up in a foul mood, snapped at my kids, cowered before my boss, stabbed my co-workers in the back and hung up the phone on my mother-in-law; there's the self I'm going to be tomorrow, when I'll be loving to my family, respectful but firm with my boss, and kind, fair and considerate to everyone else.

How can we possibly imagine that in the conglomerate of cells, organs and limbs we call our "body", extending across the rises and furrows of the terrain we call "time", there resides a single and singular "I"?

But somehow we are convinced of this. We can't identify it or describe it, nor do our day-to-day lives reflect it. But we know that it's there. Which means that it is; otherwise, where would this knowledge spring from?

A single "I" means that our animal, emotional, intellectual and spiritual selves have a common source and a common goal. It means that all the moments of our lives are interlinked: what we are today and what we will do tomorrow is the sum and result of what we were and did yesterday and the day before. A single "I" means that the past is redeemable. A single "I" means that we can achieve harmony in our lives.

The Torah refers to the day of Yom Kippur as achat bashanah, "once a year." But the Hebrew words achat bashanah also translate as "the one of the year." Yom Kippur, explain the Chassidic masters, is the day that our intrinsic oneness rises to the surface.

For 364 days a year, the fragments of our life and personality lie dispersed throughout the chambers of our soul and strewn across the expanses of space and time. On Yom Kippur, we are empowered to unite them with their source and point them towards their goal.

By Yanki Tauber; based on the teachings of the Rebbe.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with's copyright policy.
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
1000 characters remaining
leon barranquilla June 22, 2015

Yom Hakipurim Yom Hakipurim seves the same purpose as yom ehad.
Yom Kipur is used as Yom Rishon is.

The Word Yom Kipur does not appear in the Torah. Reply

leon roiter barranquilla August 12, 2014

yom ehad The difference beetwen yom ehad and yom rishon.

Rabbi, kindly enlighten me. Reply

traci boca raton, fl September 24, 2009

There is a wonderful discourse written by Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber Schneerson based on the Chasidic discourse Heichaltzu. It is an article called The Divine Echoes, Singularity, Plurality and Oneness.
It speaks in great detail of the paradoxical aspect of plurality.
Thank you, Reply

Ari Thornhill, Ontario August 13, 2007

A yearning for Total Supreme Oneness. At first I thought this article was in conflict with what the Rebbe teaches us in Perekt yud beis of Tanya. But then I thought-perhaps you mean that Yom Kippur is a special day, a day that we transcend the level of Beinoni. Is my assumption accurate? And if the assumption is accurate, do we need to put an effort of preperation to attain such a nullified and unified self? Reply

Ralph Meyer Calgary, Ab., Canada October 13, 2005

Day One These were the exact type of thoughts, I was telling a non jewish friend the other day. We wake up each and every day, with a new agenda. The agenda may not be what we envisioned but each day a new agenda. Today, Yom Kippur, we get to get away from that agenda and realize our mistakes, our sins etc and rebuild ourselves into a better life? Will we be what the Lord G-D has planned for us, or not, will we follow what has been ordained? Will we survive another year to be inscribed in the book of life? Bless the author and Chabad for putting this series on line. AMEN! Reply

Stephen P. Meyer Charleston, W.Va. USA. May 27, 2005

day one This is the only essay that I've read that provides a lift to the day of Yom Kippur with out somberness and breastbeating but with integration of the totallity of the human spirit and condition. Reply

Martin Packard White Lake, MI via September 23, 2004

stretching On yom kippur we stretch beyond normal limits to integrate our multiple selves with the total community in order to ask forgivness for the sins and failings of these many selves. There may be purity in our stretched and inflated state making us open for forgiveness. Reply

Tammie Zeilinger September 23, 2004

Day One Article I loved this , great writing! Reply

Find Services
Audio Classes
Holiday Shopping Kids Zone
Free Greeting Cards
This page in other languages