What it Means to Be Me

“What has given Yom Kippur its unique place on the map of the Jewish heart is that it is the most intensely personal of all the festivals. Pesach, Shavuot, and Succot are celebrations of Jewish memory and history. They remind us of what it means to be a member of the Jewish people, sharing its past, its present and its hopes. Rosh Hashanah, the anniversary of creation, is about what it means to be human under the sovereignty of God. But Yom Kippur is about what it means to be me, this unique person that I am. It makes us ask, What have I done with my life? Whom have I hurt or harmed? How have I behaved? What have I done with God’s greatest gift, life itself? What have I lived for and what will I be remembered for?”

The Koren Sacks Yom Kippur Machzor, p. xx