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View Diary: D'var Torah: Yom Kippur (70 comments)

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  •  I think the reason someone would claim to repent (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mayim, bluebird of happiness

    would be out of a belief in a God who was angry about their sins, but would forgive them if they repented.  I think people do the same thing in interpersonal relationships; if I say I'm sorry and I won't do it again, they'll forgive me.

    And it's true; that isn't repentance at all.  Which is why the rabbis say such a person has not achieved atonement.

    When you ask what the day accomplishes, do you mean in a theological/spiritual/religious sense or in a personal sense?  They're related questions, but not quite the same.

    •  not sure I understand the difference (0+ / 0-)

      Isn't the spiritual also personal?

      How are they different?

      What does it accomplish in a theological sense?

      What does it accomplish in a personal sense?

      If I'm there, what is supposed to take place?

      And how would I know if it did?

      •  Well yes, the spiritual is also personal (3+ / 0-)

        but it does make a significant difference whether one is thinking of it in terms of being solely personal, or also in terms of one's relationship with God.

        As for "what is supposed to take place and how would I know if it did" ... that's a question people have been asking for generations, and it doesn't look to be answered anytime soon.

        It's said in Mishnayos Yoma that during the First Temple era, there used to be a miraculous message from God every year on Yom Kippur, in the form of a red-dyed sheaf of wool that would turn white as a sign that the nation had been forgiven.  There have been years when I've wished for that or something like it; not even to tell us that we've been forgiven, but just to reassure us that we've been heard.

        My understanding is that what is supposed to take place is an internal change, or at least a significant step along the way to internal change.  The nature of that change depends a lot on individual circumstances.

        (I'm sorry, I know that's not real helpful.)

        •  what else would it be? (0+ / 0-)

          Of course about a relationship with God...which is personal...a personal relationship no one else can have.

          I meant in terms of what the day means. Not what it means when you look it up on the Internet and get an intellectual explanation...but what it means in a spiritual sense.

          That's the problem I have with all things Jewish. Intellectual understanding is an important part of it, but when, where, and how does it become more than that? As in: How to read the Torah as a guide to spiritual growth instead of as an historical document or family photo album or layered collection of interpretations. How do you use it? And how do you use it the way it was meant to be used (not just an exercise in free association)?


          Presumably someone knows, or they wouldn't keep doing it year after year.


          If it were an internal change, I would know.


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