A new Jewish year has begun. Rosh Hashanah is also Yom ha-Din (the Judgment Day).
According to the tradition, the Almighty judges the conduct of all people on this day. He writes the good people into the Book of Life and the bad people into the Book of Death; the judgment of the others is postponed until Yom Kippur day.
The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are also the days of repentance.
At this time, everyone has the opportunity for retrospection, make the confession of sins, make a decision of improvement, or forgive the other's sins and receive forgiveness.
That's what the tradition says.
But what does it mean to me, to whom the religion says very little?
I will not repent the sins I have consciously or unconsciously committed.
I will certainly not ask anyone to forgive or forgive the other's sins against me.
But at the beginning of Yom Kippur day, I will be in the synagogue to Kol nidre prayer.
And these uttered words in a language I do not understand, but whose meaning I know:
"With the consent of the Almighty, and consent of this congregation, in convocation of the heavenly court, and convocation of the lower court, we hereby grant permission to pray with transgressors."
would be aimed at me.
There, listening to Kol nidre, I will remind my relatives who left this world.
It is there I will also remind the victims which ashes burnt in concentration camps were blown away with the winds of war.
This is where I will join my thoughts to the words of prayer:
"Let forgiveness be given to all the people of Israel and to the strangers who are among them"
And, as usual, I will return home. To the everyday life.
And all of you - my family, friends, acquaintances, compatriots and those who are among us or with us - I wish you "gmar hatima tova" (a good signing/sealing).

Alex Wieseltier

Alex Wieseltier - Uredte tanker
Alle rettigheder forbeholdes 2019
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