The midrash below is from a second century C.E. text called "Sifrei Deuteronomy." Most of the Midrash is about God sitting in judgment of humanity at the end of days. In prayer, we are not in pursuit of "truth", but rather attempt to have a personally meaningful, spiritual experience.
- If you knew that every deed that you do in this world was going to be recorded and played back in front of you at the end of your life, how would you act on a daily basis?
- Does this text cause you to dread the future or look forward to it?
The "Unetane Tokef" is one of the central pieces of liturgy in Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Mahzor. Focus especially on section two. How does it relate to the midrash that we read above? Note the similarity of the image of "every person's insignia" that appears here and that appears in the earlier midrash.
What is the benefit of experiencing something a "little like death" every year?
How is the Yom Kippur experience a "little like death"?