Yom Kippur encourages us to think about the meaning of our lives. We dress in the clothes in which we will be buried, and pray that we will be allowed to live. It can feel like a powerful rehearsal for death.
On this Shabbat, we read Moses's reflections on approaching death. He is afraid. Moses expresses angst that he cannot see the completion of his own work, and that his followers will be lost without him. He worries that his mission will have been for nought.
If even Moses is scared at the end, it should hardly be surprising that we all worry too. Talmud tells us that, upon dying, Heaven will ask of us six questions:
- Did you have integrity in your work?
- Did you study Torah?
- Did you care for your family?
- Did you try to make the world better?
- Did you welcome new ideas?
- And did you have reverence for your Maker?
Ultimately, at the end of it all, this is what really matters. Let us use this week to examine our deeds. May we be able to answer these questions with pride.
Student Rabbi Lev