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September 14, 2013


Long ago, on the two Jewish high holidays, my brother and I would be two of a very few gentile students who attended classes at a school called Braeside in the north shore suburbs of Chicago. Literally every friend we had observed those holidays. And they were not in school those days. So we just played dodgeball or other games most of those days. At nine or ten years old--and just the rare neighborhood Belfast Protestant feeling a bit left out--I tried to at least stay on top of what the days meant. Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, was the one that stuck out most in my mind. It is of course observed today. It intrigued me. It still does, through this and similar traditions, and it is certainly a cleansing, liberating and purging notion. Atonement. Forget about perfection here. Or being comprehensive. Pick one amend to make to someone you've screwed over or barely slighted, or pick one person who makes you uncomfortable for any reason, and face them. Work is a great place to start--but I am sure you can do better than that. Face them and get it off your chest. You got the stones for that? Because no matter what reaction you get, you are just doing it for you, really. And that is all that matters today. Get busy.

Atonement. It's an idea for everyone on the planet. One place to read about it is Leviticus 23:27-28. Above: Jerusalem's Wailing or Western Wall, where construction started about 20 BC.

Posted by JD Hull at September 14, 2013 11:19 PM


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