Lynne: Misconceptions About Yom Kippur

Lynne’s input on Yom Kippur is so welcome! There is a misconception about Yom Kippur, she wrote, in response to the differences cited in the September 23 blog post Universal Fall Cleanse: Forgiveness, Samvatsari, Yom Kippur:

My Jewish friends and I have sometimes talked about the similarities (the most important religious time, fasting, intense prayers, time spent at the temple) as well as differences (Jews asking forgiveness from God versus Jains asking forgiveness from all living beings, from life with one sense to five senses, and ending with personally asking forgiveness from all relatives and those who have been hurt).

Lynne writes:

YES we ask forgiveness from G-s for sins and broken promises to HIM/HER alone……there is NO absolution or forgiveness for sins, gossip, broken promises or faults against another person! For that we MUST ask that person forgiveness directly…….There are many phone calls and grave visiting’s during this period expressing asking for forgiveness for intentional and unintentional hurt.

The forgiveness process and observances are remarkably similar in both traditions. As Jains (like Buddhists) do not have the concept of “God”, God is not part of it. There are no exceptions (as far as I know!) to forgiveness from all living beings. Asking for heartfelt forgiveness from another person is to release the person asking so he/she has a new chance to live in the present moment, regardless of the response by the other person. In Jainism, there are still consequences (karma) for our actions and behaviors, in this life or subsequent cycles of birth, depending on the degree of hurt or harm caused.

Any more thoughts?

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