While I am a frozen chosen Presbyterian and not Jewish I have a great deal of respect for the Jewish faith, as well as all people of faith.
I must admit I am especially fascinated by Jewish traditions and holidays knowing that the Jewish faith was that which Jesus followed while on earth.
I have been reminded both by my Google calendar and Facebook feed that today is Rosh Hashanah. The Jewish New Year. It’s celebration leads to the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur is probably the holiest of Jewish holidays this day is known to many of us as the Day of Atonement.
Anytime I think about Yom Kippur, I always remember the scene from the West Wing episode “On the Day Before” where President Bartlet discusses Yom Kippur with his staff:
President Bartlet: This guy at the dinner, he told me something I didn’t know. On Yom Kippur, you ask forgiveness for sins against God. But on the day before, you ask forgiveness for sins against people. [looks over at Toby] Did you know that?
Toby: Yeah. It’s called, uh…I can’t remember…
Josh: It’s… Erev.
Toby: Erev Yom Kippur.
President Bartlet: [nods] You can’t ask forgiveness of God until you’ve asked forgiveness of people on the day before.
It always makes me wonder who all I need to seek out and ask forgiveness from and who all I need to forgive in my own heart and soul.
As Martin Luther King, Jr. said so well –
“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”
May we all seek atonement from God and one another.