Friday, October 03, 2008

L'Shana Tova

A belated happy new year! This week was Rosh Hashanah, which many people simply refer to as "the Jewish new year." We are now in the Days of Awe, which fall between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It is a time of reflection and introspection - seeing where our lives are going and what we could have done better over the previous year, particularly when it comes to sinning against other people and G-d.

There is a custom in Judaism that I really appreciate. If you sin against G-d, you pray to Him for forgiveness. If you sin against another person, you have to go to that person directly to apologize. There is no "greasy grace" here -- you have to suck it up and deal with the person one on one. That can be a scary prospect, depending on that the issue is.

Sin is serious business. That is why on Yom Kippur there is fasting, no wearing leather shoes, loads of prayer, and basically a day of discomfort all around. Alas, the cycle of sin begins again the next day. If you have sinned against someone, don't wait for Yom Kippur to make amends. Don't wait to pray for salvation from the One who has taken our sins from us.

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