There are 2 things we’re doing this Yom-Kippur that we haven’t done before:
(1) What are you really praying for? Underneath and between everything else? Part of the long prayer is an effort to isolate and discover that essential kernel of personal prayer. What do you really need at this point in your life? What will make the biggest difference this year? Following the Kol Nidrei/Maariv evening service, we’re going to ask each person to turn to the person next to them, and share a short to-the-point wish for which they are praying for and ask for their fellow’s blessing. Their friend in turn should verbalize a blessing and give it their whole heart, and then the other friend should do the same. One doesn’t need to be a holy or righteous person to give a heartfelt blessing to a friend, as we learn “do not dismiss the blessing of even a commoner.” Obviously, if this is something extremely private which you are uncomfortable sharing, please share another meaningful wish/prayer instead.
(2) Take5 is the name of a candybar or a NYS Lotto game, among other things. This Neilah, at the close of YomKippur we hope everyone will “Take5” with them for the rest of the year. Take5 is a sampling of Mitzvot that can take less than 5 minutes to do each day. Adding 5 Minutes of intentional Mitzvah on a daily basis, year round, can be deeply meaningful, enriching and even life-changing. And its eminently doable. Everyone has 5 minutes here and there. Let’s make one of those empty 5 minute segments count!