If my late mother knew I was writing a Yom Kippur blogpost on Yom Kippur, she would be horrified. After all, I grew up in a house where we not only did not do any work on this special holiday, we didn't use electricity or even tear toilet paper. Really!
However, although I am not a religious, God-fearing Jew, I do like to observe many Jewish holidays, and especially Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. While some have compared it to Catholic confession, with a full day of day of prayer and fasting thrown in, it is also a time to reflect on the past year, and especially the sins one may have committed and things one regrets. It is also a time to resolve to live a better, more compassionate and caring life in the year to come.
One of the prayers recited during Kol Nidre on the eve of Yom Kippur goes like this:
I hereby forgive all who have hurt me, all who have done me wrong, whether deliberately or by accident, whether by word or by deed. May no one be punished on my account.
As I forgive and pardon fully those who have done me wrong, may those whom I have harmed forgive and pardon me, whether I acted deliberately or by accident, by word or by deed.
So let me say directly to any of you who I may have wronged, I do truly apologize. I especially apologize to those of you who may have been upset by something I said or did in a face to face encounter, or through social media. After all, so many of my interactions these days are via Facebook and Twitter!
At a time when organized religion continues to create so much misery in the world, it is somewhat uncomfortable to write about a religious occasion. However, Yom Kippur is a day for reflection, and I wanted to share these thoughts with those of you who visit this blog.
May you too be inscribed in the Book of Life and have a happy, healthy and peaceful year to come.