Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Yom Kippur

I was reading in Laurie's blog tonight. Laurie is a woman I don't know well, but I feel incredibly grateful for. Especially tonight, because she answered my prayers. I wanted to remember what she wrote, because I believe she has found the truth. For weeks, I have felt constant anger... and somehow, at this moment... it is gone. I am not angry. I am not upset. I feel grateful.

[Here is the excerpt from her blog. The bold are the phrases that stuck out to me most.]
"I usually forget about the High Holidays until they are here and then I almost always feel a longing--a pull--to get involved. This time, I completely forgot about Yom Kippur until it arrived. But, now that it is here, I am disappointed I did not plan better. I usually spend some time during the 25 hour period being aware and respectful of all of the people in my religion who are fasting and atoning for their sins. I love the Jewish religion and so many of the traditions that I grew up with. I usually do not fast on Yom Kippur and I almost always feel guilty for not doing it. I also feel guilty for anything I do that is not "following the rules", even though I am not completely sure what those rules are. I probably am not supposed to be writing a blog on Yom Kippur (even though they didn't have blogs when they created the holiday).

I have often wondered if God would consider it a sin that I have not fasted on Yom Kippur. I don't think so. I have decided this holiday to let go of any guilt about not doing it "right" and just following my heart and align myself with God as best I can.

Sin or "het" in Hebrew means "to go astray" or to wander from God. As I interpret it, the Jewish religion is not big on punishment for sins or going to hell. Moreover, the feeling I have always gotten is that if you stray from your alignment with God, you just need to go back and get aligned again. No fire or brimstone--just a realization that things need to change. It makes so much sense to me to have that time for prayer and turning inward where you are shut off from the world.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
And when I am for myself, what am 'I'?
And if not now, [then] when?

This quote is by Hillel--a famous Jewish religious leader. In my mind, he is talking about taking time for yourself and getting a sense of who you are. What a great idea to create time to do that once a year to take time out from your "life".

What happens to me when I stray from God? I get angry,frustrated, hopeless.... and many other unpleasant emotions. What happens when I am aligned with God? I feel peace, joy and a deep connectedness to life.

I believe very strongly that God is not some man with a beard who sits in heaven in judgment of us. God is within each and every one of us and we can access that energy at any time."

I feel so much relief... Its hard to explain. I don't really care if the LDS church is true. Or the Jewish church... or the Buddhist church... or... I want to be aligned with God. Whatever that means. Whoever I need to be. I want to be with Him.

1 comment:

  1. I think that's what really matters. What's really important is being aligned with God. To me, the only reason it's important to know what church is true, is so that we have more information to find Him and be closer to Him. I feel closer to God when I read the Book of Mormon. That's why the Book of Mormon is important to me. I also really believe that there is truth in all faiths. I think we can find truth in studying Judaism, Buddhism or any other faith.

    I personally, like to read a lot of things that are written by people of various Christian faiths. That doesn't mean I stop reading stuff from the LDS church, but I just believe in bringing in information from a wide array of places. Sometimes someone will say something in a different way that helps me gain understanding. Often, it will be a principle I've heard before but the different presentation reveals greater truth to me.

    I support you in whatever works best for you to become aligned with God.