KosherTorah School for Biblical, Judaic & Spiritual Studies
The Secret of Forgiveness, for Yom Kippur
by Ariel Bar Tzadok
Copyright © 2015 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.
There is a secret to forgiveness. That secret is detachment. Whatever one emotionally attaches to oneself gets stuck to one's psyche like glue. Its very hard for God to take us seriously when we ask for forgiveness, all the while that we approach God covered with psychic sticky glue, along with all the garbage that gets stuck to us because of it.
The secret of Yom Kippur is simply to let go. And this is the hardest thing in the world. It is also the reason why so many peoples sins are not forgiven on Yom Kippur. It is not that God does not forgive the person, rather, it is the person that does not forgive him/herself, and therefore, continues to drag along through one's life all the glued on attached garbage that one should have peeled off a long time ago.
On Yom Kipper God forgives us all our sins. This means that God will not punish us for those things that we truly, and sincerely show remorse and regret over doing. But then we must equally make every effort to make right that which we have done wrong. God is on our side, hooray! But we still have left one evil enemy, and this is the one foe that even God does not defeat. This is the foe of individual free choice, and the personal right for one to embrace that which is wrong, and harmful. Even God cannot protect us from ourselves when psychically we chose to punish ourselves for wrongdoings glued to us, that God wants for us to have let go long ago.
When we hold on to old psychological baggage we are inviting down punishments upon our heads. When we fail to forgive, we are clinging on to the past. Such glue attaches very strongly to our souls. What gets glued to us weighs us down, and inhibits us from moving forward into a more promising, free future. There is no magic, or mystical way around this. The only way to secure our personal forgiveness on Yom Kippur is to ensure that each individual truly and sincerely forgives everyone else who has wronged them. This is the only way to break the bonds that chain us down, and connected to the cycles of revenge and restitution.
We must embrace and practice a fundamental principle of religion, which is that God is the true judge, and while we have forgiven others for the wrongs they have done us, this does not mean that their slates are all wiped clean. On the contrary, even when such people ask for forgiveness, they too are faced with a brick wall that can only be breached by sincere remorse, and every effort of restitution.
Needless to say, bad people do not repent, or feel sincere remorse. They have no sense of conscience, and therefore, continue through their lives hurting others. Why on Earth would any normal person want to to be connected to such harmful persons, to remain attached to them emotionally, and psychologically in continuing cycles of recompense. It is better to let go, and let God.
This is God's universe. Let Him handle the wayward souls. We have to learn to cut lose, and move on. This is the secret of forgiveness on Yom Kippur. God forgives us, and we forgive ourselves. Without this dual process, Yom Kippur becomes nothing more than just another day, and another meaningless ritual.
Putting aside religious thought for a moment, let's get psychological, and ask just how does Divine forgiveness actually work? We do not believe children's fairy-tales about there being actual, and real Books in Heaven, be they the Books of Life or Death. We do not believe that God has any kind of physical form, or in actuality acts like any kind of super-human being. All of our prayers saying over and over again how sorry we are for deeds that we have never committed really do not persuade God to forgive us for those deeds that we actually have done.
God is not a person like us. God is not pleaded with, talked to, persuaded or convinced like a fellow human being. Remember God is All, within all, and knows all. God knows us inside and out. God recognizes each individual's truth intent, or lack of sincerity. There is no fooling God, not on Yom Kippur, nor on any other day.
So, when we tell God how sorry we are, for this or that, and yet, at the same time, hold on to all kinds of psychic and psychological garbage, what do you think God actually sees in the person? Do you think God looks upon the false facade that a person presents when praying, and in public, or do you think that God sees one's true inner face, along with all the muck and mire glued on to one's soul?
Yom Kippur should be renamed, and called, “The Day to be Honest before God.” God, honestly, always sees the truth within us. It is we who refuse to see the truths within ourselves. Yom Kippur is given to us not so much for God to shake His mighty Head saying He forgives us, but rather, that we should put aside all such myths and fairy-tales and recognize the truth of what it is that we really need to do to stop causing others, and ourselves further harm and pain.
We fast on Yom Kippur for a reason. That reason is to get us to focus on our inner selves, and not to focus on our outer, physical needs, like food. For one day, we are commanded to detach from the concerns of this physical world, and to look within.
Detachment! Here is that magic word again! This is the magic word that makes Yom Kippur work! Not only must we detach for the day from food, we must use this ritual act as the archetype for which it is meant. One day's detachment from food is a symbol to teach us to detach from all things that cause us emotional, and psychological harm.
This is why this is the Day of Forgiveness. This is the day that we must detach, let go, and let God. We must detach from all the garbage that clings to us, and forgive all others of everything. Let God deal with them, but let us be free of any “karmic” needs of attachment. Let our souls soar free!
We we release ourselves from such “karmic” attachments, and our souls ascend free into Heaven, unfettered by all the muck and mire that seeks to glue us down, we achieve true atonement.
Remember, atonement is “at-one-ment,” with God. Being one with God can only be accomplished by the soul that soars on high to be with Him. No one soar when they are weighed down. To soar, one must let go. Those that do achieve atonement, and are written in the metaphorical Book of Life.
Contemplate these things as you fast on Kippur. Say all the prayers that you wish, or may be required to recite. Yet, keep in mind this, you will never fool God, you can only fool yourself. So, get real! Kippur is the right day to do this.
On this day we forgive others so as to be free from the contamination of attachment to them. Yet, let us also remember this. We must never forget what the unrepentant have done. Although we forgive, this does not mean that we forget.
We forgive in the heart, and remember in the mind. In this way, we safeguard ourselves to never again fall into the same pattern of mistakes. We never again allow ourselves to be harmed by another who we know is harmful to us. We bear no malice, but at the same time, we also do not walk blindly in foolishness.
We forgive others, and we forgive ourselves. We commit to living a better, wiser life, making better and wiser decisions. This is how we become “one with God,” by becoming better human beings. This is how we please God, and this is the true secret of Yom Kippur.
Now, in the wise words of Hillel, the ancient Sages, “go do it.”
May we all be inscribed in God's true Book of Life, this year, and for many years to come.
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The Written Works of Ariel Bar Tzadok
Copyright (C) 1997 - 2015 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.