Please Forgive Me


Please Forgive Me

Last Friday Jews celebrated Rosh Hashanah (I wrote about it last week). In the Torah, ten days later, which falls on the eve of Sunday the 27th, starts Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement. According to tradition, this is the day when God decides each person’s fate. So Jews are encouraged to make amends and ask forgiveness for the sins they committed over the past year. The holiday is observed with a 25-hour fast and special prayers. However, before asking God, one needs to settle their relationships with people and ask for their forgiveness. Therefore, I am using this opportunity to ask you to forgive me. One of the prayers is to ask God for the forgiveness of the sins, which we did knowingly, as well as for those which only God knows about.

This brings to mind a joke about a man, who while praying tells God, “During the last year you did many things which I did not like, such as, the Coronavirus, fires, tornadoes, and the list goes on. At the same time, I am sure that I had a few transgressions of which you did not approve. So, let’s make a deal; if you forgive me, I will forgive you and we will be even.” Jokes aside, we all have choices of what to do and how to behave. Some call it free will. However, it seems that even our choices come from Torah.

Recently in the weekly portion I was reading that Moses before ending his life’s journey told the Israelites, “See – I have placed before you today the life and good, and the death and evil” (Nitzavim 30:15). And then a few lines later, as to repeat his important message, he said again, “I have placed life and death before you, blessing and curse; and you shall choose life, so that you will choose life, so that you will live, you and your offspring” (Nitzavim 30:19). And then he concludes in the next chapter, “For I know that after my death you will stay from the path that I have commanded you and evil will befall you at the end of days, if you do what is evil in the eyes of Hashem (God), to anger him through your handiwork” (Vayelech 31:29). 

It is estimated that Moses died in 1271 BCE. It seems that years later his prophecy was fulfilled, since humans stray from God’s guidance all time. Therefore, the Torah gave us Yom Kippur, so that at least once a year the Jews can clean their consciousness, and there is hope that in spite of our misbehavior, we will be forgiven and choose to live. I am wishing you good final judgement.

P.S. For this story I decided to share with you some images of flowers without color. Use your imagination of how your life is going to look in full color. Sometime in the near future I will show you my color versions.

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