Amongst all holidays, Yom Kippur is acknowledged as the most holy and sublime. On a simple level, it appears that this is a day that is dedicated to repentance. But is this really the case?

...we cannot forget and let go that which we do not remember and own...

A seeming incongruity on the day of Yom Kippur is the fact that on this holiest of all holy days, we choose to recount all of our wrong doing. Would we not choose to speak more positively on this day, rather than bringing up all the garbage one has collected over the preceding year? Understandably, the negative is brought up to memory for the purpose of purging, as we cannot forget and let go that which we do not remember and own, yet it is equally true that, "one who wrestles with a muddied person is bound to become muddied himself" (Tanya Chap 28).

So while there is a place for an involved awareness of your negative behavior, perhaps Yom Kippur should not be the time. And indeed it is not. Yom Kippur is not about recounting, recalling, bringing to memory all your negative baggage; for that we are given the entire month of Elul , the final month of the Jewish year, leading directly into Rosh Hashanah.

There are exactly forty days from Rosh Chodesh (1st of) Elul until Yom Kippur. Elul is a time when we do an honest soul searching, leading to self examination and an aspiration to right the wrongs. It is a time where we sincerely analyze our behavior, repair whatever damage is done, and firmly resolve to better our future. After the month of Elul comes to a close, we are then ready for Rosh Hashanah, the "Day of Judgment."

Yet, if we wish to live a Yom Kippur infused life — in the consciousness of Yom Kippur, to integrate the ‘high’ of Yom Kippur in the "lows’ of daily mundane life each day of the year — we need to aspire to fuse the inspiration from above with the perspiration from below.

...Yom Kippur follows the intense personal development of Elul.

Indeed Yom Kippur includes both these aspects: on the one hand it is a time when "the essence of the day brings atonement", yet Yom Kippur follows the intense personal development of Elul. Yom Kippur comes about on the calendar only after we have attained the full potential of our own activities during Elul, which then culminates with Yom Kippur.