Lifnai ve-Lifnim - The Innermost Sanctum: High Holiday Reader 5784

On Yom Kippur, the Kohen Gadol enters the Kodesh ha-Kodashim, "the Holy of Holies," a space which is poetically named lifnai ve-lifnim, "inward and inside."

There is a beautiful double meaning in this wordplay: panim means “face,” the most external level of true encounter between two people, while lifnim means “within,” the direction of ever-deeper relationship. Whether we’re studying a text, facing a friend, looking in a mirror, or standing before God, we must turn inwardly as far as we can go, into the innermost sanctums of our hearts and souls.

May this year's reader will help us face ourselves, each other, and God.