Friday, September 17, 2010
Yom Kippur: Day of Forgiveness
Today is start of Yom Kippur. It is the day that Jews will try to ask G-d for forgiveness. It is also the last day to have obtained forgiveness from people we have hurt or saddened. One might ask how hard it is to ask forgiveness and/or obtain forgiveness. Nowadays, a lot of Jews, using up to date technology, will write mass Texts, Facebook Status, or Twitter to ask for forgiveness. It is a very arbitrary and childish act. If one is making an attempt to obtain forgiveness, according to Jewish law, just asking for forgiveness is not enough. They have to make necessary efforts to obtain that forgiveness. Then how would the Jewish Law define obtaining forgiveness?
According to Jewish Laws, one must first think very hard and analyze his past year’s acts. Through that, that person must first be truly honest to himself and figure out whether anybody could have got hurt, mad, sad, embarrassed, or ridiculed by his acts whether his acts were intentional or unintentional. After that, they have to go up to that person and expressly ask for forgiveness and state specifically the reason for what they are asking for forgiveness. They must be sincere in their apology and it should not be arbitrary just because Jewish Law is requiring him. He or she must do anything and everything reasonable to obtain that forgiveness. If one truly makes the effort to obtain the victim’s forgiveness, the victim MUST forgive the other person. This is the spirit of the Yom Kippur and it should be done before Yom Kippur. After obtaining that forgiveness, that person who has committed the act must actually ask from G-d for forgiveness for sins he has committed during the year and all the people he have hurt. According to Jewish Law, G-d WILL to forgive your sins if you have truly asked for forgiveness from others, because the logic is that “if the Human beings are that forgiving which is a positive act, The G-d Almighty, who is the Creator and Designer of the all Humans and everything that is positive cannot be Forgiving?” After Yom Kippur, that person is obligated to have truly improved his acts toward others and that person MUST make efforts to prevent himself from committing the same acts or saying the same things to others that might hurt them. THIS IS THE SPIRIT OF YOM KIPPUR.
However, in today’s society where everything is mocked including religion, people simply send a mass text to everybody asking for forgiveness. As much as it is a nice gesture, however it becomes truly annoying when somebody is asking for forgiveness in such a impersonalize fashion. If that is not enough, you would receive hundreds of Texts asking for forgiveness, and on top of that, sometime you would see the same text you received from different person. The person who was truly hurt by that person’s act would think, “What? I am not worthy of your time so that you’d pick up the phone and talk to me?!”
In conclusion, Yom Kippur should not be the reason that we ask for forgiveness. In all aspects of life, we should be careful not to hurt others’ feelings. With that said, I hope all my Jewish friends have an easy fast.