Yom Kippur means the Day of Atonement. Atone is made up of two words: at one. By atoning for our errors, by asking for forgiveness and being granted forgiveness, we become “at one” with G-d and with each other.
But here’s a question: G-d fulfills all the mitzvot He gives us. How does G-d fulfill the mitzvah of asking for forgiveness from us on Yom Kippur? Does G-d say Kol Nidrei as well? How does a perfect G-d “atone” for anything? Why would G-d even need to ask us for forgiveness and to atone?!
Another question: even when we can reach a level of unity on Yom Kippur, how do we maintain it throughout the year?
We can find our answers in a heartrending story that happened this night 75 years ago – Yom Kippur at Kol Nidrei in the women’s barracks of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
If you think Jews are divided by their externals, this story will change your perspective forever.