I'm in the process of getting ready for the big day of confessions - Yom Kippur. Unlike other religions, the Jewish religion gives us one annual massive opportunity to confront ourselves. To stare at our "soulular" image and to rip open our hearts. Even though we can repent -- and are encouraged to do so every day -- Yom Kippur is the day when self-examination, introspection and hopefully finding a peaceful place within us to acknowledge our strengths, weaknesses and the "improvement zones," comes to a serious crescendo.
Many simply associate Yom Kippur as a day when we don't eat. True that. But the day isn't about beating ourselves into submission. Fasting is just one of the tools we use to confront our spiritual selves - our souls that need no food to nourish - rather they require prayer and silent confession.
Confronting one's soul is a massive task. We talk about transparency in this day of Internet - where all your missteps and comments are traceable--indelible footprints that can confront you at any point and time. If you believe in G-d, transparency is a concept you are familiar with. You know that we are all transparent - even when our sins are locked away in the recesses of our minds. And on Yom Kippur we stand, cowering before our Creator, and we admit our sins.
Rationalizations, though common defenses by most all year round, are unacceptable on Yom Kippur. The "I'm OK, you're OK" mentality just doesn't hold up. No excuses or rationalizations are given or accepted. And pain that we've caused others cannot be excused by G-d. We are commanded to confront one another - and offer our sincere apologies for any pain we caused them with our words or actions.
So, this season, as I confront my own demons - both online, offline, within myself and beyond - let me please extend apologies to anyone that I have hurt in any way this year. Whether it was through written words, spoken words or actions, please know that I am sincerely sorry. And I promise not to do it again--and to be a better person. I humbly beg you to forgive me.
Tomorrow evening, I face myself dead-on. And G-d. And I will pray for all mankind, that we merit G-d's mercy and compassion and that He bestows upon each human being on this planet, peace. It's what we all need this New Year.