Today, across the world, Jewish people are celebrating Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement. It is a day when Jews all over the world fast and pray. They repent their sins and they ask the Beloved, and each other, for forgiveness.
Forgiveness is not all they pray for, however, nor do they pray for only themselves. Jews pray for forgiveness and peace for all peoples, all of God’s children, with the understanding that all of the peoples of Earth are One People, One Family of Man, and that all deserve all the peace, love, kindness and charity that we have to give one another.
In my travels through the world, and my quest for understanding of the Divine, I have attained a few Yom Kippur prayers and poems, which I would like to share with you.
We pray with all our hearts: let violence be gone; let the day come soon when evil shall give way to goodness, when war shall be forgotten, hunger be no more, and all at last shall live in freedom.
Birth is a beginning
And death a destination
And life is a journey:
From childhood to maturity
And youth to age:
From innocence to awareness
And ignorance to knowing:
From foolishness to discretion
And the, perhaps, to wisdom
From weakness to strength
Or strength to weakness —
And, often, back again;
From health to sickness
And back, we pray, to health again;
From offense to forgiveness,
From loneliness to love,
From joy to gratitude,
From pain to compassion,
And grief to understanding —
From fear to faith;
From defeat to defeat to defeat —
Until, looking backward or ahead,
We see that victory lies
Not at some high place along the way,
But in having made the journey, stage by stage,
A sacred pilgrimage.
Birth is a beginning
And death a destination.
And life is a journey,
A sacred pilgrimage
To live everlasting.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” — Albert Einstein
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