Yom Kippur is the traditional the Day of Atonement (At-one-ment); a day to fast, abstain from work or any activity and think about our sins toward God and one another. On the tenth day of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) we are to repent for our sins, bring awareness to our feelings and place a karmic net beneath the New Year. We ask God to forgive the faliure of our future oaths.. a 'just in case i fuck up.' It is a time to open your heart and merge with whatever Oneness you may feel; to celebrate connectedness; reflect on our spiritual fall-outs (we all have them) and ask for forgiveness.
Now, i remember this holy day from the awe~some vibrating sounds of the shofar (a wind instument made from ram's horn, the sound the breaks the fast: 'break-fast') and some didactic talk of goats, incense and inscribed stone tablets. I remember loathing the long service and the car rides over. Admittedly, i was a drag a-long Jew, attending temple for the free Manashevitz and the well anticipated big party (Bat Mitzvah.)
Today, however, i am finding some beautiful poetry to this day of reverence. Consideration of our actions and how they affect the society at large is one that perpetually sparks compassion; compassion for all beings beginning with ourselves.
Yum Kippur is also a day of sacrifice. I don't know about you, but my idea of sacrifice has been pretty thwarted lately. So, in order to re-evaluate what exists within and without , we must take time to be still. Really still. And this is what i find so poetic about this particular Holy Day: It's not that God, Brahman, and Wakan Tonka are judging our actions.. we are our actions. We are our the judges of our very own universe. Surrender is the most non self-cherishing sacrifice right there! Letting go of our self for the day, watching our minds replay the drama of SIN: Scene II; Act IV... remaining unattached to our actions, thus creating more space for the clear transendent light of union and service.
And of course, we can try again and again to do the right thing, to make it a 'good' New Year.. and we should. However, i want to remind us all that having compassion for ourselves and for others is the only way.
all we need is Love