I am a writer and a Mommy. I am a devout Jew. These are the most important books I have read: The Tao te Ching by Lao Tzu, Stephen Mitchell translation. Spiritual Divorce by Debbie Ford. Living Inspired by Akiva Tatz. My kitchen would suggest I'm a closet carny, as would my love of Branson.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Guilt and Repentence

It's that time of year!

Time to say you are sorry to people and ask them to forgive you for past wrongs.

I've noticed a couple of things about this.  People don't really forgive in general.

Also, it's awful to go around asking people to forgive you.

I am personally a huge believer in forgiveness.  I willingly don't hold grudges.  Ever.

But this time of year is brutal.  Because the person I least willingly forgive is myself.

Here is what I will say on Saturday:


For the sin which we have committed before You under duress or willingly.
And for the sin which we have committed before You by hard-heartedness.
For the sin which we have committed before You inadvertently.
And for the sin which we have committed before You with an utterance of the lips.
For the sin which we have committed before You with immorality.
And for the sin which we have committed before You openly or secretly.
For the sin which we have committed before You with knowledge and with deceit.
And for the sin which we have committed before You through speech.
For the sin which we have committed before You by deceiving a fellowman.
And for the sin which we have committed before You by improper thoughts.
For the sin which we have committed before You by a gathering of lewdness.
And for the sin which we have committed before You by verbal [insincere] confession.
For the sin which we have committed before You by disrespect for parents and teachers.
And for the sin which we have committed before You intentionally or unintentionally.
For the sin which we have committed before You by using coercion.
And for the sin which we have committed before You by  desecrating the Divine Name.
For the sin which we have committed before You by impurity of  speech.
And for the sin which we have committed before You by foolish  talk.
For the sin which we have committed before You with the evil  inclination.
And for the sin which we have committed before You knowingly or unknowingly.
For all these, God of pardon, pardon us, forgive us, atone for us. 
For the sin which we have committed before You by false denial and lying.
And for the sin which we have committed before You by a bribe-taking or a bribe-giving hand.
For the sin which we have committed before You by scoffing.
And for the sin which we have committed before You by evil talk  [about another].
For the sin which we have committed before You in business  dealings.
And for the sin which we have committed before You by eating  and drinking.
For the sin which we have committed before You by [taking or  giving] interest and by usury.
And for the sin which we have committed before You by a haughty demeanor.
For the sin which we have committed before You by the prattle of our lips.
And for the sin which we have committed before You by a glance of the eye.
For the sin which we have committed before You with proud looks.
And for the sin which we have committed before You with impudence.
 For all these, God of pardon, pardon us, forgive us, atone for us. 
For the sin which we have committed before You by casting off the yoke [of Heaven].
And for the sin which we have committed before You in passing judgment.
For the sin which we have committed before You by scheming against a fellowman.
And for the sin which we have committed before You by a begrudging eye.
For the sin which we have committed before You by frivolity.
And for the sin which we have committed before You by obduracy.
For the sin which we have committed before You by running to do evil.
And for the sin which we have committed before You by tale-bearing.
For the sin which we have committed before You by swearing in vain.
And for the sin which we have committed before You by causeless hatred.
For the sin which we have committed before You by embezzlement.
And for the sin which we have committed before You by a confused heart.
 For all these, God of pardon, pardon us, forgive us, atone for us.
And for the sins for which we are obligated to bring a burnt-offering.
And for the sins for which we are obligated to bring a sin-offering.
And for the sins for which we are obligated to bring a varying offering [according to one's means].
And for the sins for which we are obligated to bring a guilt-offering for a certain or doubtful trespass.
And for the sins for which we incur the penalty of lashing for rebelliousness.
And for the sins for which we incur the penalty of forty lashes.
And for the sins for which we incur the penalty of death by the hand of Heaven.
And for the sins for which we incur the penalty of excision and childlessness.
And for the sins for which we incur the penalty of the four forms of capital punishment executed by the Court: stoning, burning, decapitation and strangulation.
For [transgressing] positive and prohibitory mitzvot, whether [the prohibitions] can be rectified by a specifically prescribed act or not, those of which we are aware and those of which we are not aware; those of which we are aware, we have already declared them before You and confessed them to You, and those of which we are not aware --- before You they are revealed and known, as it is stated:The hidden things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things are for us and for our children forever, that we may carry out all the words of this Torah. For You are the Pardoner of Israel and the Forgiver of the tribes of Yeshurun in every generation, and aside from You we have no King who forgives and pardons.

But I promise you that G-d doesn't care about any of that.  G-d loves us perfectly and he forgives us before we do something wrong.  It's all up to us to forgive ourselves.   The hell we experience in this life comes from our own unwillingness to forgive others and ourselves.

And I do hope that the people I have hurt this year will sincerely forgive me but what's more important is that the people who know me should know that I always forgive - without being asked - no matter what.

I think a great song for Yom  Kippur is Bob Mould's Sinners and Their Repentences
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75VNKc8Aduk

All those things I've done before
It doesn't matter anymore
I see the errors of my oh-so-humble ways
Better run before
There's no way that I can cover for
All these things catch up to me
We've all sinned before
I have sinned before

These sins, they seem to fit you well
Since I have known these sins so well

All these sins I've known before
They just don't concern me anymore
A secret voice in my sleep
Better speak before
Know there's someone right behind the door
I don't seem to speak with ease
Falling
Falling down

I see these words don't work so well
I say these words so well
See me saying "Oh, well"
It's easy to save face in this world

How can you qualify
Difference between a sin and a lie
I see my silver lining in the sky
But now I can't decide
If you told the truth or you lied
You seem to sin so well
This light's so bright
It seems to hurt my eyes
You seem to sin so well

If the crush of your emotions
Leave you lying in the dust
Then take it all right out on me
And leave me in the rain to rust

Also, this time of year you are supposed to decide what you are going to do better.  There is a lot I can do better and we all know that resolving to do too much results in doing nothing.

Last year I was focused on not saying bad things about other people.  I failed miserably but I am back again with renewed fervor.

I know I will fail but I'm going to try even harder.  This means I will try not to say bad things about people or even talk about other people and even more importantly try to stop people who are talking to me from doing either.

I also resolve not to yell.  This is a huge one.  I am deadly serious about this.  There is no reason to raise your voice ever (unless you are saving someone from injury).  So I know I am going to succeed at this one.  It's too important.

Happy New Year!!!

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