to the time in the Jewish calendar between Rosh Hashanah—the Jewish New
Year—and Yom Kippur—when our names are sealed in the “Book of Life” by G-d for the next year.
take it to mean a time of repentance. A time of atoning for our “sins,” and to
acknowledge where we’ve “missed the mark” of our own moral target.
forgiveness from a spiritual entity. In my own spiritual practice, there is a
habit of taking note of where we’ve been wrong and amending that behavior,
whether through direct conversation with someone we’ve harmed or through
choosing to act differently in the future.
anything at all has never sat well with me. I simply don’t think that anything
that has the power to create life and death and change and love would need my
asking. I believe that whatever “G-d” is, “it” is much too loving or
non-personified to ever require me to ask it to forgive my behavior.
behavior and righting my own wrongs is very important to my emotional wellbeing
and my personal relationships. But on the spiritual plane, G-d would never need
me to ask for forgiveness. There’s nothing to forgive – there’s only love,
acceptance, and a desire for me to be my best self.
feel that my actions are those of a woman returning to herself and her values;
returning to my true nature, and returning to ideas and hopes that were feared
singing, despite the fears and self-judgments it still brings up in me.
from my office job. Again, a return to my true desires, my internal compass. I
have stopped hitting the Snooze button on my instincts and drives.
trying something brand new for me. And that is certainly a return to curiosity,
innocence, hope, and creation.
fasting and the communal atoning of sins. I shun this day and its activities
because the idea is that by atoning for our sins, we will be “inscribed in the
Book of Life” for another year.
closing Yom Kippur was the moment of my Leukemia diagnosis. I spent the day of
Yom Kippur in an ER. And closed the chapter of that day with cancer. I was 30 years old.
the seeds of a new life. But I will never deny that I have a few wheelbarrows
full of anger and grief that still need … sorting or composting or alleviation.
Or simply time to feel them, and then to let them go, perhaps, if that’s what
the Jewish year, on the day when a person is either granted another year of
life or is not, I cannot hold the tragedy of being told half my blood was
cancer on that same day.
transform, lessen, or evolve. But, for now, I boycott Yom Kippur.
am desirous to return to and acknowledge and rejoice in the truth of my soul,
and to note where I already am. I have used this week to affirm that life can
be new and different and fulfilling.
either made of benevolence or simply is the indifferent force of Life itself.
excitement and possibility. I don’t need a communal atonement to reward me for
how exceptional that is.