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Baruch Shem Kivod Malchuto X: Kad HaKemach: Peace



Although we usually whisper the words: “Blessed be the Name of Your glorious kingdom forever and ever”, on Yom Kippur, we proclaim them aloud. We do so because on

Yom Kippur we are like angels.

“Just as there is peace among the ministering angels, as it is said, ‘He makes peace in His high places’ (Job 25:2), so is there peace among the people of Israel on the Day of Atonement” (Kad Hakemach, Kippurim).

As a preparation for Yom Kippur, we ask forgiveness of people we might have hurt and we try to mend strained relationships. However, can we truly say that when Yom Kippur arrives, all hard feelings have disappeared? That all the damage caused by strife has been repaired? Even though as everyone is engrossed in the fast and prayers, it is unlikely that people would come to fight, can we ascertain that there is peace among the people of Israel? Probably not.

So then, what allows us to behave as angels do and recite “Baruch Shem Kivod” aloud?

On a day when all that matters is our relationship with God, on a day when all the gates are opened for us to to go through and reach levels we have never reached before, on a day when all the worldly distractions are subdued because of the intensity of our connection with the King of kings, we are raised above what usually makes us quarrel and tears us apart.

When we live, even for a few precious moments, with the reality of “Hashem Echad”, of God’s unity, all the differences we might have had with others, all the arguments, the hostility; it all becomes irrelevant in the face of the truth of God’s Oneness.

And so, as much as we must invest efforts in making peace, the ultimate feeling of peace comes from God: “He makes peace in His high place, He shall make peace upon us and upon all of Israel”.

This is the kind of peace that elevates us to the status of angels and enables us to declare with all our might: “Baruch Shem Kivod…”

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