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Posts Tagged ‘Day of Atonement’

Inspiration Prompt – The Day Of Atonement

Monday, September 28th, 2009
[Photo by: Gregory Markchester]

Today is the Jewish people Day of Atonement. According to the Jewish religion, on this day each person is tried before god in the majestic court. The book is opened and all one’s rights are measured against one’s sins – determining whether one lives or dies.

The Jewish religion perceives god as a benevolent god. God forgives all sins made against him but god shall not forgive any sin made against another human being. Therefore the people must sincerely ask for forgiveness from anyone who might have been hurt by their deeds.

Although the Day of atonement is marked as a day of fasting, it is not a day of mourning but a festive holiday. A holiday in which people take time away from their material needs and ponder about their way in life – where are they going to and how are they getting there?

For the sake of this week’s inspiration prompt I want to leave all religious connotations aside and discuss the meaning of taking an annual Day of Atonement.

Taking 24 hours in which we won’t be running towards something. 24 hours in which we think about our endeavor, about the way we treat other people and the way we treat ourselves. 24 hours in which we observe our past ways and plan our future ones, and if necessary change routes.

Sometimes life’s pace is extremely fast and without taking the time to really think about life’s meaning and about what is really important in life, we may lose our way and perhaps lose ourselves in the race.

I believe the self examination done on the Day of Atonement can be meaningful and beneficial to both believers and atheists – everyone examines their ways at their own level.


What do you think about the idea of a Day of Atonement (in a non-religious – but maybe spiritual – way)?

I am very interested to hear from my non Jewish readers whether your religion/tradition has a similar notion.

Please share your thoughts and insights by leaving a comment on this post.