|10-06-2003, 04:16 PM||#1|
King Of Wishful Thinking
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Philadelphia Suburbs
Yes, today is Yom Kippur , the Day of Atonement. This means that technically, I should not be using the computer at this moment. However, for me the holiday is time for reflection, and this is one place where I come to reflect.
First, this holiday is about seeking forgiveness from others, and not just God. So, I apologize to anyone who was offended by any comments I made here this year. I do not retract any of them, I just do not intend for them to be harmful, but to insure a balanced dialogue in politics, religion, and any of the other topics I have discussed.
For medical reasons, I am not supposed to fast, but am trying to anyway. On Yom Kippur, we jews completely fast, refusing to even drink water from sundown to sundown. This can cause a slight impairment in functioning. I compounded it since my cold gave me indigestion and I did not have dinner last night.
The world, especially the neo-conservative, post- 9/11 world, is in a difficult place. For the first time in my memory, I question the survival of our current way of life for my children, and not because of 9/11. I see extremism and hatred being given a center stage, and voices of reason and compassion being delegated to the sidelines. For me, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are times when I can at least address issues personally and affect the small piece of the world around me.
In Judaism, or at least the form which I grew up with, we do not ask God to be admitted to heaven. Our blessing/prayer is may we be inscribed in the Book of Life. Living here and now is the great prize/gift given to us, and very little attention is given to an afterlife in paradise.
In my opinion, this is why Jewish martyrdom is so significant. In other religions, a true believer who dies for the cause can believe that they are gaining an eternity in paradise in exchange for their life. In Judaism, there is no similar guarantee and the sacrifice is more significant for that.
But in most cases, it is more a matter of how we compose ourselves in our family and community. The price of our failings is felt by us and those around us. In effect, there is a 'code of honor', which, if we fail, we must atone for. In effect, being dishonorable is an abuse of the gift of life which we have been given and which we renew each year.
I have a Muslim coworker, and we have traded experiences of Yom Kippur and Ramadan . The main similarity between the two holidays is the focus on self-improvement and goodness. In Yom Kippur this is by atonement for past sins and in Ramadan this is through acts of charity. In both religions, fasting appears to be an act of faith and self-discipline.
I wonder if jews and muslims would celebrate Yom Kippur and Ramadan at exactly the same time each year, would issues be any clearer? Unfortunately, this year Ramadan starts in late October and I do not believe there is any overlap in the times of these holidays.
I still have some time left for reflection. If I come up with any answers I will let you know.
Obama 2012 - We did it again!
I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting. -- Barack Hussein Obama
Last edited by richlevy; 10-06-2003 at 04:20 PM.
|Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)|
I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good. Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called on by God to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism.
- Randall Terry, head of Operation Rescue, in The News-Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana. 8-16-93