Monday, September 28

A Day of Atonement

Today is Yom Kippur. It is considered the holiest day within the Jewish faith. It falls ten days after Rosh Hashanah (aka Jewish New Year). I am not Jewish, but as I have many friends that are, I became aware of this day while I lived in New York City.
A day of reflection and forgiveness. It is a solemn day where Jews become closer to God through prayer and fasting. It is also a day of reconciliation. In the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Jews are encouraged to seek out those who have been offended over the past year and genuinely ask for forgiveness. Only on Yom Kippur can one seek forgiveness from God. That is why it is important to 'make it right' in the ten days prior to Yom Kippur.
This holiday always falls in September, which is also the month of the harvest. In my interfaith mixture of beliefs, it makes sense that Yom Kippur falls at this time. Not only are we reaping the benefits of the harvest, it should be a time that we reflect on the past year that has brought us to this day. The saying "You reap what you sow" is very fitting right now.
I may be wrong, but I see it also as a time of renewal to start the New Year with a clean slate. Time to think about what transgressions we have put upon others and to honestly look within ourselves to become better human beings.
Forgiveness is a very important element to be able to move forward.It is also fundamental to achieve peace in this world that is so strife with conflict.

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