We all know that Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year. We all know that on Yom Kippur we fast. We all know that we spend the whole day praying, repenting and asking for forgiveness. But did you know that Yom Kippur is also a Jewish Holiday, a joyous day, a Yom Tov. The Talmud states: "The people of Israel had no greater holidays than the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur". So, what is is it that we are celebrating on Yom Kippur?

Yom Kippur is the anniversary of the second marriage of G‑d with his People. Yep, we kinda got married, divorced, and then got married again. The first wedding took place on the holiday of Shavuot, when we were standing under Mount Sinai as a Chupah and G‑d sealed his covenant of love with the Jewish people. Unfortunately, things did not work out so well; and within 40 days the people broke their commitment by worshipping a golden calf. G‑d's initial reaction was, "I am out of this marriage!" He told Moses, the Matchmaker, that he wants out because the Jewish People didn't keep their end of the deal. So in a sense they "separated"...

But after a lot of prodding and haggling, Moses was able to convince G‑d to make peace with the bride. G‑d realized that his love for us is greater than any mistake that we could have made, and that we can ever make.

When we first marry and profess our unconditional love to our spouse-to-be, we don't really know what kind of mishaps and mistakes might occur during our married life. We cannot anticipate all the possible fights, arguments and misunderstandings that might end up spicing up our relationship. Sometimes the relationship turns sour, and we end up dissolving it. We thought that out love was strong, but obviously it was not strong enough.

Our sages tells us that it is a great Mitzvah to remarry your ex-wife (assuming she didn't marry someone else in between). When a couple divorces and then reconsiders and remarries, the new covenant is on a totally different level than the first. Now we know the kind of turbulence our relationship might endure; and we now know just how much pain we can inflict on each other. But now we are able to commit to a greater kind of love — that will be stronger than any hatred that we may ever develop. We know each other's flaws, and we commit to love in spite of them.

On Yom Kippur, G‑d re-committed to His People, but the new covenant was on much higher level. G‑d realized the limitation of our human condition, and chose us again, regardless. G‑d expressed His infinite love to us — a love that no mistake on our part can ever shatter. From then on, and for all humankind forever, a new template has developed for the G‑d/human relationship. It is a relationship not solely based on performance or perfection, but also on love and commitment. Sure, we need to follow the rules; sure, we need to behave, just like a normal married couple. But when we err, when we trip, we can revert to the covenant of unconditional love that was created on Yom Kippur more than 3,300 years ago.

The beauty of recovery is that I don't need to create a new me; I don't need to find an unknown Higher Power. I just have to revert back to my ever-existing relationship with G‑d. When I reconnect with G‑d, the mistakes of my past can be forgotten and buried with my now useless divorce documents. We're eternally married. Again.