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Dov Talpaz, “The Music of the Sea” (2017), ink on paper, 8 x 5.5 inches

One of the beautiful aspects of Yom Kippur (which is today) is that it is about asking forgiveness for specific actions committed during the past year that we feel a need to internally deal with. It is not about fighting for a more general cause, even though these times of social awareness have brought us plenty of those. Instead of external shouting, we must listen to our internal voice.

I am nonreligious and I don’t practice Yom Kippur’s rituals, but I appreciate its teachings; the iconoclastic philosopher Yeshayahu Leibowitz says “The state of the person at the end of Yom Kippur is exactly the same as before the offering on the eve of Yom Kippur; what arises is nothing but the religious effort of this great day, and immediately he [or she] must start preparing for the next Yom Kippur.”

Similarly, labor in Torah is not a means of reaching a specific goal; it is rather the purpose itself — “and until when must one learn? — until the day of one’s death”

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Dov Talpaz

Brooklyn-based artist Dov Talpaz was born in Bryan, Texas, and grew up in Israel and the U.S. Talpaz's paintings and drawings reveal his deep fascination with stories and the lives reflected in them. Recent...