Today, is the holiest day in the Jewish year. It is a day for assessing oneself and how we are doing living our lives. Adonai gave the ten commandments, but he had other acts in mind that he/she didn’t want people to do. Tonight, begins the high holy day, Yom Kippur. Jews worldwide will be in temple or their homes and they will be honestly looking inside of their hearts and souls.
On Yon Kippur, it is said that the names of those who will live through the New Year will be written into the book of life for another year. Wrong doing or sin, is looked at personally and as a community.
I like this concept that the community can sin as a whole and we all share responsibility. So what kinds of things is he/she talking about?
Assumed the worst in others and the best of ourselves.
Betrayed the trust others have placed in us.
Confused that which is essential with that which is not,
Destroyed ourselves with needless abuses,
Enjoyed the downfall of our adversaries with glee.
Felt superior to others by means of ability, wealth or power.
Given less than our full selves to our community and our world.
Hastened to decry responsibility for our own actions,
Instigated animosity among others,
Junked our world with trash, showing no retard for the environment.
Kindled misplaced passions.
Lied to cover our vanities.
Missed opportunities to better ourselves.
Negated the validity of others in an effort to aggrandize ourselves,
Observed persons in need, and ignored what we saw.
Perverted the blessings of our lives into dangerous obsessions and mere possessions.
Quietly slipped into lived defined by moral decay,
Refused ourselves and other our love.
Seduced ourselves with the lie that “no one is going to get hurt.”
Trivialized the power we represent in God’s Universe.
Unleashed hurtful words.
Valued strangers more than our family and friends.
Wished ill upon others,
Xeroxed in violation of copyright and trademark.
Yielded to temptation.
Zestfully pursued happiness to the exclusion of goodness.
—Rabbi David Greenspoon and Steve Kerbel
A Prayer For Peace
Let us live in peace, God.
Let children live in peace, in homes free from brutality and abuse.
Let them go to school in peace, free from violence and fear.
Let them play in peace, God, in safe parks, in safe neighborhoods; watch over them.
Let husbands and wives love in peace, in marriages free from cruelty.
Let men and women work in peace, with no fears of terror or bloodshed.
Let us travel in peace; protect is, God, in the air, on the seas, along whatever road we take.
Let nations dwell together in peace, without the threat of war hovering over them.
Help us, God. Teach all people of all races and faiths, in all the countries all over the world to believe that the peace that seems so far off is in fact within our reach.
Let us all live in peace, God. And let us say, Amen.
—Rabbi Naomi Levy