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View Diary: Atonement (a diary marking Yom Kippur) (50 comments)

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  •  I've never looks at fasting as what G-d wants (3+ / 0-)
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    auapplemac, marykk, Seneca Doane

    G-d wants atonement, to those we have wronged.  I've always approached fasting as a lesson in self-discipline and as a teaching moment for the rest of the year.  Fasting doesn't help me atone for my past wrongs, but it DOES provide a focus point to help me from committing new wrongs in the coming year.  The way I see it, if I can muster up the discipline to not eat, drink, bathe, have sex, etc for 25 hours and still participate in about 9 hours of prayer and self-reflection, then I know I have the personal strength and will to prevent myself from wronging someone else in the coming year.

    •  For me, the two are unrelated (2+ / 0-)
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      AaronInSanDiego, sardonyx

      In the Philippines, some men honor Jesus on Good Friday by whipping themselves bloody, carrying crosses, and allowing them to be crucified (short of the point of death.)  That takes discipline -- but I have it on good authority that it does not necessarily mean that they will put that discipline to good use.

      Tomorrow, at work, I'm working out one settlement for a victim of harassment and preparing for a hearing for a whistleblower.  I don't think that there's any moral advantage to my doing so hungry.  To me, our moral strength is in our choices. not what discomfort we can endure.

      That said, this is a valid point about which reasonable people can disagree.  (See: two Jews here -- and there's your requisite third opinion!)

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