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Identity

An Inspiring Yom Kippur Experience

October 10, 2018

Sandy Springs, Georgia, United States

Although I don’t belong to a synagogue, the experience I had on Yom Kippur was life changing. On Yom Kippur, my mom and I woke up early, went to a unique garden in Northern Georgia, and reflected on this past year.

We walked around the garden quietly as we looked at nature and thought to ourselves. Sitting on a bench in the garden, I took a moment to reflect on this past year. My mother laid her hand on my forehead and recited the Priestly Benediction. After we discussed what we are grateful for. We ended by doing a mediation about how nature, just like in human life, all people and plants are created in G-d’s image, B’tzelem Elohim. Although they’re all different, they all serve a purpose. We can be connected to prayer not only in a synagogue but in nature, though meditation, and song. This moment enhanced my Jewish identity.

As I walked through the garden, I noticed that the plants were being watered. Since I was fasting, it reminded me of all the people who need food and water but don’t have access to it. I reminded myself that I must work to provide for others, and to help them have access to basic needs that they don’t have or can’t get. BBYO has always taught me to keep social action in my thoughts.

May you always remember to be grateful and to help others who are less fortunate than yourself, and always remember that you can find your Judaism in the most unique places.

Perri Schwartz is a BBG from B’yachad BBG #2495 in Greater Atlanta Region #55. She has photographic memory, loves to fight for what she belives in, and hopes to be a professional journalist.

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