Sunday, September 23, 2007

the tenth of tishrei

Yesterday was Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. At exactly sunset, on the patio of the Japanese restaurant down the street, I watched the traffic lights change color and broke my fast with sushi and saki. The rules of atonement are well-established. The fasting, prayer, and self-reflection of Yom Kippur atone for our sins against G-d. By making amends to those we've wronged and seeking their forgiveness, we atone for our sins against our neighbors. But when and how does G-d atone for his sins against us?

23 comments:

slouching mom said...

Indeed.

froggy mommy said...

Beautifully written.

Katie W said...

I think this is why I can't manage to believe. I know religion plays such a major role in peoples lives, and while I don't think God has done anything sinful against me personally, I can't believe when there are 4 year olds being stabbed , and I read stories like yours.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bradford/7009404.stm

Beruriah said...

Ah, very similar to what I was thinking a I sat in services at the end of the day yesterday.

Adrienne said...

When G-d brings other blessings into our lives, G-d atones. I have to believe that - with the bitter, comes the sweet.

susan said...

When, indeed?

Monica said...

You've managed to say so beautifully and succinctly what I and others have been unable to say or write.

missedconceptions said...

I found out about my first miscarriage on Yom Kippur last year. It has forever tainted this time of year for me.

Shanah tovah.

Waiting Amy said...

I'm waiting.

Perhaps Adrienne is right, but I'm still waiting.

Thanks for your beautiful words.

The Oneliner (Christina) said...

good question.
God?

Ms. Planner said...

So very well put.

I also have enjoyed learning more about the meaning of Yom Kippur from everyone's (& your) blog.

painted maypole said...

you know, just last week I was reflecting on this myself. I don't have an answer - just a question: Although it feels that God has wronged us, I believe that he always has our best interest at heart, even when he allows horrific things to happen. And so, in the end, is there really anything for him to atone for? or does the atonement come after our death?

Eva said...

G'mar hatimah tova.

So I don't think you find out how he atones until the end.

My Reality said...

How very right you are.

Niobe, you have such a beautiful way with words.

Megan said...

At the end of the Book of Job, God basically says: who you are you to ask?

missedconceptions said...

According to my husband, who knows much more about Jewish theology than I, says that it is a very Jewish thing just to ask.

Christine said...

this hurt to read, niobe.

we need some answers, huh?

ALM said...

Honestly? I wonder if he/she can. Sorry G-d - but you have a heck of a lot to answer for...

Magpie said...

You ask good questions.

The unanswerability of that one is, for me, why I believe that there is no god.

Anne said...

I agree with painted maypole in my head, but my heart rebelled the last time I walked into a church. The place where I used to find comfort in God and celebrate him only brought forth feelings of anger and betrayal. Thus, the mind and heart don't always agree and I can't be left expecting an apology.

Rebecca said...

I want to know what I did to God to piss him off so royally. And the fucked up thing? I'm not even a theist.

xxx

Pamela Jeanne said...

Sigh. I long for the days when I believed wholeheartedly, innocently -- more like naively -- in the power and goodness of God.

Abby said...

I agree with you.I had a miscarriage between Rosh H and Yom Kippur. Why would G-D not write my child in the book of life? I had a hard time atone for my sins this year, since something so precious was taken from me.