Keep Trying

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Renewal & Joy

It is the day after Yom Kippur - a day on which millions of people around the world dedicated themselves to improving their relationship with themselves, their neighbors and with G-d. Checking out the blogs this morning, I found this great piece by Ed Cone, a blogger and journalist with the News-Record. Mr. Cone proposes half-seriously making Yom Kippur a national holiday:

Yom Kippur is a day of introspection and not eating, and if there was ever a culture in need of introspection and not eating, we�re it. Raised on hedonism and credit cards, Americans make every day a holiday and every meal a feast, to the point of devaluing actual holidays and feasts...

He gets to the essence of Yom Kippur pretty well:

On Yom Kippur, the idea is to take responsibility for who you are, and how you conduct yourself, how you treat other people, and how you are planning to do better at all those things in the year ahead. You are obligated to make things whole with those you have wronged, and to come to terms with those who have wronged you. This is the occasion to get right with God, which traditionally involves hours of prayer and fasting...

Then he espouses the benefits it would bring to America:

Think of the changes this one day might make. Think of the peace and quiet it would bring. On the national day of atonement, newspapers could publish only corrections, apologies, and specific information on the ways similar problems will be avoided in the future. TV pundits and radio talkers (and bloggers - ed M.S.) would turn their bluster on themselves. Elected officials would release detailed summaries of their voting records and public positions, cross-referenced with their campaign promises.

And he shows us the difference between a blogger and a professional journalist with this great wrap-up paragraph:

Yom Kippur is a serious and sober day, and a joyous one, too, because with atonement comes renewal. All of us, Christian and Jew and Muslim and other, could stand a little atonement, renewal, and joy. Until it is recognized as a national holiday, you can just try it yourself at home.

Thanks Ed for that great column. I just want to add that there is a week long holiday starting on Saturday called Succos. It is called the Holiday of Joy and it helps us extend the progress we made on Yom Kippur to the entire year. It ends on Simchas Torah which is an amazing day of singing, eating and dancing (and maybe a L'Chaim or two).

I will not be blogging next week since I will be spending some joyous time with my family on Succos. Have a great two weeks.