Seven Levels of Teshuva: Yitzchak Conclusion
Yom Kippur Service:
The service takes place in the Holy of Holies. The Midrash says that whoever prays in Jerusalem it is as if he prayed
in front of the Divine Throne1. Jerusalem itself reaches all the way to the Divine Throne2. The ark in the holy of holies is positioned directly under the Divine Throne3. Just the place of the service reminds us of this level of Teshuva.
The Talmud discusses the approach of the Cohen Gadol to the Holy of Holies4: There was a curtain in front of the Kodesh Kodashim. In front of the curtain, to its right was the Menorah and to its left was the Shulchan. Usually the Cohen never went further than the Menorah on the one side or the Shulchan on the other. It was considered inappropriate for him to walk behind the Shulchan or the Menorah. The only other option was to walk directly toward the curtain from the center of the room. Isn’t it less respectful to the holiest place to walk directly in front of it? Rabbi Yossi explains, “That is the point! He Jews do not need the Cohen Gadol there because, “The Jews are beloved to God and He did not make it necessary for them to have an intermediary speak for them.” Rashi explains5 that every Jew has the capacity to pray for himself, for each person will know where his faults are and he will open his hands to this house and will directly reach Me. The Jews don’t need the place. They connect directly to the Divine Throne. The place is not as important as the people the Cohen Gadol is representing.
This is exactly the point of Teshuva that reaches the Divine Throne. I am directly connected to my source.
1 Midrash Tehillim 91
2 Shir Hashirim Rabbah 7:11
3 Tanchuma, Vayakhel 7
4 Yoma 52a