Just before the start of Yom-Kippur, an alumnus posted this meaningful memory on his Facebook Wall. I in turn shared it on my FB wall, and wanted to share it on Yom-Kippur as well, because it is a unique insight into Yom-Kippur, from the heart of a UAlbany college student.

TRUE STORY: 13 years ago on Yom Kippur I was in the dining hall of Dutch Quad (UAlbany) enjoying lunch when my future roomate and friend Ari asks, “are you eating right now?”… my response: “yeh, why?”… “it’s Yom Kippur” he says. “Is that a fast day” I ask?… “ummm yeh” he responds. “Well I don’t follow that stuff so?”. “What are you eating?” he asks. “A bacon cheeseburger”…. “oh boy” he says. “Listen Brandon, how many days a year do we run around doing whatever the heck we want?” “24/7/365!” I said…. “no Brandon, at least ONE DAY a year, we remember their is something above us”. The next year was my first fast on Yom Kippur. May each year bring increased understanding and growth. A beautiful and sweet year for all!! And of course…. an easy fast!

I’m not going to agree with and endorse everything Ari said. After all, we probably shouldn’t run around and do whatever the heck we want all year either. But the sentiment is so powerful. If the goal of Yom-Kippur is to become aware, and realize, and connect with “something above us” then it is a most meaningful Yom-Kippur.

The interesting postscript to this story is that Brandon subsequently became much more Jewishly involved, went on to study and grow, and has become religiously observant, committed to Torah living. He has a beautiful family, and we love to “follow” him on FB. So, you never know the power and impact a few heartfelt words may have on a friend.