Today was the Jewish festival Yom Kippur which means day of Atonement. It is one of the most important Jewish festivals. Personally, it is also one of my favourite festivals. Yom Kippur marks a time to be quiet and reflect on the previous year. Something which is important for everyone.
A friend once taught me that the best way to learn and develop is to reflect. The Day of Atonement is a whole day dedicated to just that. Taking a moment out of our busy schedules to think; can help us see who we are and what we want.
It is customary to fast (not eat or drink) on this holy day and to say sorry to all those you may have wronged. In this way lose ends can be tied and future goals and aspirations can be set.
As I sat looking at my candle listening to my stomach rumble I thought about my year. How lucky I am to have a warm home to live in, family and friends around who I love and food to break the fast.
This afternoon in synagogue (place of jewish worship) there were two very interesting sermons. The first was centered on setting goals and focusing on the way we think. The speaker mentioned the website Future Me whereby one can send a letter to your ‘future’ self in a month, year or indeed decade. You simple write in the text box provided, click a date you wish this to be sent to yourself and enter your email address. When the time comes this letter will arrive in your inbox. You can then see how far you have come.
The second sermon was about identity and the labels we assign ourselves. Everyone has more than one defining characteristic and a lot of the time these attributes may contradict each other. As we grow and change these labels inevitably adjust with us. Just because we were born with one identity it does not mean we will keep it for ever. However, our previous identities can’t simply disappear. They will always be there in the shaping of our new character.
As I hope I have demonstrated regardless of what you believe or don’t believe; Yom Kippur is a day open to everyone. It is a time to work on your self and understand what it is that you really want.
Feel free to share your thoughts below.