Wednesday, October 8, 2008

shall we atone?

As Yom Kippur begins, I think it's a good time to talk about what I think about this "holiday." My brother's friend wished him "A Solemn Yom Kippur" today. And that is exactly right. It isn't a joyous day. It isn't a day to celebrate. And yet most still consider it a holiday. Hmm.

But that's not even what bothers me really. My gripes are two-fold. First of all, if you're not very religious, and there is one day of the year that you're going to go to temple, Yom Kippur is it. Why? Why only go to synagogue on a solemn day? Maybe this is why so many Jews see going to temple in a negative light. Shouldn't we try to show temple in the best way possible; as a wonderful and joyous place to meet with your community and share the service?

My other issue is why do we have a set day to repent for our sins? I mean, I know there is a reason based on Jewish teachings, but I just don't agree. Shouldn't we repent when we feel we need to repent, rather than do it just because we're told today is the day? I also don't think starving yourself for 24 hours erases your sins from the past year. Although I guess it's not the actual fasting that allows us to repent, but rather the suffering it causes that makes us evaluate our actions, thoughts and feelings of the past year.

While I don't partake in Yom Kippur by fasting, I do think it's a good time reflect, repair wounds that need repairing and let those you love know it. So this Yom Kippur I'm going to start to make positive changes and choices in my life, and begin the new year on a good note. For those of you who are fasting, I hope you have an easy fast. To everyone else, I hope you can take this time to do some self-evaluation and begin your year in the best way possible.


Jacob Da Jew said...

Actually, I consider Yom Kippur to be a happy day.

I feel closer to G-d more than any other day. Its the day that we roll in and say "Dad, I've been a bad boy. I'm sorry. Can I have my allowance now?"

mmm. Allowance money.

Also, as a Sefardi and (usually) an assistant cantor, the prayers are more interactive that with others. Parts of the prayer are given out to members of the shul to sing out loud.

With regards to your gripe about why only Yom Kippur as the day of repentence...well, lets think about that statement.

We, as human beings, get caught up in our everyday business and need a day to set aside for self reflections.

Also, do you also feel that "Mothers Day" is a farce since we "should" celebrate mothers day every day.

No, once a year, we send mom that nice card along with a gift.


I'll let you answer that one.

curleegirlee said...

You've definitely given me a new perspective to Yom Kippur, JDJ. Your analogy to Mother's Day makes a lot of sense - something I never thought about before. We certainly can repent on other days, but it's good to have a certain day set aside for it. Thanks for commenting!