Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Thoughts on Yom Kippur

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," sundown on Yom Kippur!

I have a colleague who is Jewish. She says if she doesn't go to Synagogue on Yom Kippur, she will go to Hell. She has to atone for her sins.

Can you imagine asking the busy god to forgive your sins? That's like asking some Goldman Sachs hedge fund manager to forgive you for pinching a candy bar from a Cub Scout. Even Hitler didn't flood the whole damn world.

I'm not just hurling stones at the busy god, though. I'm hurling stones at the way we look at gods.

We aren't created in the image of God. God is created in the image of us. This is why so many pantheons are populated with jealous, crazy, downright mean, and vengeful deities. They are who we are.

The flip side to that is, every now and then we endow a deity or deities with the better parts of our natures. That's how we get Mother Goddesses who nurture us. Nevertheless, at this point in our evolutionary history, we humans have not achieved the ability to separate the traits of deities from our own imperfect natures.

If this makes sense to you, reader, you might be a candidate for vulture worship. At least we can observe what vultures are like and then model ourselves after them.

Excuse me while I go scavenge through the landfill for some supper. The sun is setting, and the busy god might be real. The only sin I can think of that needs atonement is rage ... a trait that no godly vulture would stick at any price.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

You'll be going door to door in your Sacred Thunderbird outfit in no time!

Anonymous said...

Delurking to say, either your colleague was "dumbing down" things (what an insult to you, if she was, can't she see how smart you are?) or she needs to go back to religious school. I've about outgrown my Judaism but one of its selling points certainly has to be that it doesn't have a "hell"; it is stressed that we can't possibly know what comes next so we are to concentrate on this world, our one sure bet.

Lisa @ akawest said...

I agree with anonymous. We never were taught anything about hell, just a lot of motherly guilt, but no hell.

I suppose I outgrew my Judaism, too. That made me chuckle. I wish everyone all over the world would outgrow their religion. It would make life so much easier.

kjbrooklyn said...

In my understanding of Yom Kippur, you are not asking God for forgiveness, as he/she will automatically give it to you. You have to ask those whom you have harmed in some way for forgiveness, as they are the only ones who can do so.