Posted on October 6, 2011
It should be remembered that Yom Kippur is a joyous day. Being forgiven for our misdeeds and granted a clean slate to begin again from, the holiest day of the year can be one of great anticipation and happiness. The article “Why Yom Kippur is Also a Day of Joy: Its implications for the Philanthropic Community” posted by Michael Bohnen highlights this positive aspect of the high holiday that often only becomes associated with hunger and somber repentance. A very important point Bohnen makes, is that working for a non-profit “we may feel that we can ‘check off’ tzedakah, which together with prayer and repentance are said to ‘mitigate the severity of the decree.'” It is important to remember the Talmud’s passage which reminds us that “when we reach our final judgment, the first question we will be asked is not what our work was, but how we conducted it.” Organizations can take a cheshbon hanefesh or a “spiritual audit of how we do our work” in order to ensure that the best efforts and services are being implemented for success and in order to make attainable goals for the foreseeable future. We should always remember that it’s the effort and hard work that are put into an organization that make it as productive and meaningful as possible to those they serve. This happy day of Yom Kippur can be made even happier with the ideas and prayers for the future of our organizations and of those who we help. Let’s use this holy day to think about the work we do and to make sure our work is effective and on the right track to better our communities.