The most important Holiday for my Jewish grandmother has come upon us, Yom Kippur. There will be no school vacations, no closings of businesses, no classical celebrations of time out and time off. What there will be, for the hardcore practicing Jew, lots of fasting, lots of praying, and lots and lots of confessing.
Fasting and praying are good for the soul separately and or in conjunction. When you add the confessionary part to the subject real transformation can happen. For 24 hours the worshiper will seek guidance and let go of a year of past badness.
Yom Kippur is very much like a short Vision Quest. The practice of my other ancestors the Plains Indians. A Vison Quest tends to last a few more days and starts with a ceremonial Sweat Lodge, an Innipi. This begins the process of atonement followed by 4 days of fasting, singing, prayer, and waiting for a vision. A Vision Quest usually is overseen by a Holy Man or Woman as in rare cases the seeker of the vision decides to stay on the other side and needs to be coaxed back. We'll talk about spiritual death on a later date.
Both of these ceremonial occurrences have the effect of cleansing the soul and connecting the prayer to the Great Spirit or God. Each has a different word for God, but the same being non the less. It has been said, not by me, but that if you look into the face of God the Creator you may go Mad. That would explain many things.
Atonement, paying a small price for gaining a clean slate. Do you feel free from past Karma? I wonder. I am an individual that spends allot of time practicing the letting go of things. That includes the past, the future past, and the present past. The letting go of things, the atonement of stuff is an act of contrition. After all who are we judging if not ourselves.
A Christian will tell you to confess and pay contrition to get into Heaven. A Jew will say to you that atonement and prayer will strengthen your faith in God and you will be at one with Creation. A Native American will say to you that Innipi, atonement, prayer and song will strengthen your power and You will Be. Seems to me that they all mean the same thing in one form or another. Languages are an interesting way of expressing ultimate reality.
Today is Yom Kippur the most important Holiday in Judaism. Maybe we all can learn a little from fasting, praying, and atoning. The first Big step is to remove your head out of an uncomfortable place.
Happy Yom Kippur
Peace and Balance,