Yom Kippur: The Mystery and Sacredness of Life

Nineteen years ago today I gave birth to my first child. I was in Leader minyan and as our tradition was then we passed the Sefer Torah around to every single person in the large hall. We were singing “Light is sown for the righteous and joy for the straight of heart” to Greensleeves tune for many many minutes as each person embraced and kissed the Holy Scroll. 

It was at this moment that I went into labor. I was due on Yom Kippur. At some point I climbed over seats and tables and continued to labor in the foyer. And then some time after I walked home to the next block to birth at home. As I was leaving the hazan blessed me and blessed the congregation. “Just as her gates will open , so too may the gates of our prayer be opened.”

I had an amazing experience of birthing. As the pains were increasing I remember the period between the pains was like Gan Eden. The main birthing lesson  I learnt from my amazing midwife Joyce was to breathe and to make sound. This saved me. I would not have been able to think and bear the pain. So as I went deeper into the birthing experience I lost my mind and I was just breathing. It was like a loop was created with my breath so that I kept breathing and making deep sounds and somehow that enabled me to move through the pain without getting caught up in my head. In the head it was unbearable. But in the body it was flowing. 

In the head it was unbearable but in the body it was flowing. We always have this moment. We have our body. We have our breath. One  breath at a time. 

Finding our home in our body. Finding our limits in our body. Celebrating our ensoulment through our body. Today we eat to make the sacredness of life, of having a body, of being a human. Tomorrow we will fast. Being a human is also having a hunger for the wild. For touching that which expands us and brings us into oneness and harmony with the universe.

Today I am eating several meals. I am partaking in the joys of being human and of having a body. Being fully earthed and landing our soul here in our body, in our flesh, means that we are available for love and also available for hurt. 

We have our breath. It is the thread that keeps anchoring us in our body. That keeps bringing us back. 

This life is so sacred. So precious. Navigating the challenges. Staying in balance.

About the Author
Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Rabba Dr Melanie Landau has 20 years of experience in guiding individuals and groups in transformative processes.and cultivating the sacred. She is committed to the creativity and vitality of a living breathing expansive Torah. She has specialisations in deep listening, conflict transformation, embodied awareness and thriving with complex trauma in particular transforming relational wounds and addictive patterns. She can be reached on: melanielandau18@gmail.com
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