b'WESTERN MARBLE ARCH SYNAGOGUEYOM KIPPURWE ARE JONAH BEVERLY MILLERB efore we were born, our soul lived an angel-like existence intimately bound to our Creator. From birth, the soul finds itself confined and enclosed in a body and its senses are overwhelmed by the constant stimuli of this world. The book of Jonah is read in its entirety during Yom Kippur afternoon. JonahinKabbalahspeakisanothernamefor soul. Jonahs story is a tale of a souls journey on Earth and it mirrors our lives in many ways.We, like Jonah, may delude ourselves into thinking that our earthly life has taken us out of range of our relationship with God. We assume that this perceived distance gives us the right to ignore Gods commandments and to run away from what He expects of us. The soul however is an agent of God, charged with bringing sanctity into the mundane and perfecting our imperfect world. It isnt an easy task for anyone.On Yom Kippur, we look for inspiration that will light up our path in life and provide an illuminating window into our soul. Unfortunately, there may be times when all we see is a heavy darkness beyond the window and we feel alone or lost. We can experience a crisis of faith especially in times of trouble or when confronted by the pain of life or the harsh reality of death. Its as if our personal responsibilities weigh too heavily on our shoulders. When we are at low ebb or scared, or treated unfairly, the unrelenting darkness challenges us. It transforms our ways of thinking and the synagogue feels cold and the words in the prayer book become empty of meaning. We need to understand that we can neither give ourselves to others, to our religion or belief without knowing who we are. Each of us should ask ourself:-Am I like Jonah? Do I run away from my responsibilities rather than face them head on regardless? Who am I? What does God want of me? How can I be a better person? What is my role in life? What have I neglected to do? Who have I hurt? Where is God when I need Him?16'