Last Chance

Yom Kippur culminates the process of repentance begun before Rosh Hashanah.

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I hereby forgive all who have hurt me, all who have done me wrong, who deliberately or by accident, whether by word or by deed. May no one be  punished on my account. As I forgive and pardon fully those who have done me wrong, may those whom I have harmed forgive and pardon me, whether I acted deliberately or by accident, whether by word or deed. I am now ready to fulfill the commandment of “to love my neighbor as myself.”           

Each person remains seated until he or she feels ready to recite the above, then quietly leaves the room.  Whether placed in a ritual context or not, the mitzvah [commandment] of loving your neighbor must be confronted on this day.

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Rabbi Michael Strassfeld

Michael Strassfeld is the rabbi of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism, a Reconstructionist synagogue in Manhattan, co-author of The First Jewish Catalog, The Second Jewish Catalog, A Night of Questions: A Passover Haggadah, and author of The Jewish Holidays: A Guide and Commentary.