Rabbi Sally Finestone is the denominational counselor to Jewish students at Harvard Divinity School. Below is an excerpt of sermon for the evening of Kol Nidrei, which marks the beginning of Yom Kippur.

We are beautiful, magnificent creations, made in the image of God. And even though we are all made by the same Creator, and carry that Creator’s spark within us, each of us is somehow unique and different—just like paintings in a museum.

We each have our own particular beauty—not the beauty perceived by the eyes, but the beauty perceived by the heart. We each have so much potential to be good and to do good in this world.

We each have so much ability to learn, to grow, to continually change for the better. We each have so much capacity for love, for kindness, and for justice. When we hold true to who we really are, when we treat others according to our highest of ideals, when our actions and words reflect the Divine spark within and our true potential, we are magnificent and beautiful to behold.

On this holiest of evenings, may we see the beauty each time we look at each other. And may we see the beauty each time we look into a mirror, sensing that magnificent creation of God, just below the surface, waiting, waiting to be seen.

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