It's Erev Yom Kippur (only 20 minutes before my family's pre-fast meal). I've been calling my family and friends, and they've been calling me. We've wished each other a Shana Tova and asked each other forgiveness for anything we might have done to hurt them.
It's a very nice custom. It puts us into a lovely forgiving mood before Yom Kippur, and we therefore hope that G-d Above will be in a forgiving mood toward us.
But seriously, let's be honest with one another. We called our friends and family that we love and adore and asked forgiveness, when they did mostly nothing bad to us. Um, maybe they hung up the phone too quickly one day, or couldn't help us find a babysitter for the kids, but they're people we love and only add happiness and quality to our lives.
There are, however, really ... people who hurt us, who insulted us, whom we insulted or injured in some way. We don't call them and they don't call us.
That's a shame, and that's the real test of Yom Kippur. Can we call that person that we can't stand? Can we ask foregiveness from our sibling that we screamed at?
If you live in Israel, there's still almost an hour and a half. Ask your friend, non-friend (I'd hate to say enemy) or opponent, and family member to forgive you for something you really are guilty of. It will be difficult, but it will stand in good stead for you On High.
I just wanted to tell you quickly of two segulot I heard of.
Firstly, if you've got someone whose wedding you'd love to attend this year. Tell him/her to eat SEVEN little meals today - just enough to wash and bentch (say grace). I've heard that if they do, it's a segula that this year, they'll have SHEVA BRACHOT (seven special grace meals after the wedding). You never heard of it? It couldn't hurt. Try it.
Next, I also heard today that at the end of the Neilah service on Yom Kippur night, just before the end of the holiday, another segula comes into play. We call out seven times - Hashem Hu Ha'Elokim. G-d is the L-rd. With each call, we are bringing Hashem up a step to another heaven (there are seven heavens). On the seventh call, Hashem is right up at His Holy Throne, the Kisa Hakavod. I heard that on the seventh call, when we are opposite G-d's Holy Throne, we should think of the biggest problem/issue in our lives today, and Hashem will give us special help with that. Let's try it.
A gmar chatima tova!! May we all be sealed in the Book of Life for all good things.