Day of Atonement

Today is a day many of us are off from work for Yom Kippur, a Day of Atonement.  While I was not raised in the Jewish traditions, this day has always affected me as a day we could all use.  I originally learned of its importance through Jewish friends.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on

This day, I have discovered, is the most important holiday of the year in Judaism. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a day-long fast and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services.

I believe most major religions teach the same basic message of love, compassion and forgiveness.  By making it our goal to live our lives with these components, we will be fulfilled and happy. 

Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning.

Desmond Tutu

This day makes me realize that we all need a day of atonement to forgive ourselves for things in our past.  We need to take the time to think about where we have gone wrong and place ourselves in a forgiving frame of mind. 

  • Forgive ourselves for not calling a friend in need
  • Forgive ourselves for being judgmental of another person.
  • Forgive ourselves for hurting someone else
  • Forgive ourselves for getting angry
  • Forgive ourselves for being selfish
Photo by Hailey Galloway on

Especially during these current times, we need to realize that our reactions to situations are not what they used to be.  There is so much turmoil and unrest in our country that it affects our emotions and moods. 

It is very difficult to remain stable and positive when we are bombarded with such negativity and nastiness every time we turn on the television.  We even are faced with the negativity while driving and faced with protestors who have undesirable signs and messages. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

The important thing is to stop blaming someone else for our actions and words and take personal responsibility for them.  Just remember when you are pointing your finger at someone else, three fingers are pointing back at you. 

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.

Lewis B. Smedes

We should take this day and forgive ourselves, while at the same time, understand why we are having these feelings in the first place.  This is the initial step to peace of mind. 

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