BLOG SABBATICAL as we under take 24 hours of prayer, mediation, introspection and repentance.
s/ The thoroughly unhonorable Horace Rumpole, Esq.
Tonight at sundown our Jewish friends and neighbors begin the last twenty four hours of ten days of introspection. The ceremony tonight: Kol Nidre- is actually an ancient chant of a legal doctrine: the right to break a vow one was forced to take:
"All personal vows we are likely to make, all personal oaths and pledges we are likely to take between this Yom Kippur and the next Yom Kippur, we publicly renounce. Let them all be relinquished and abandoned, null and void, neither firm nor established. Let our [personal] vows, pledges and oaths be considered neither vows nor pledges nor oaths."
After the Kol Nidre service, Jews embark on a final journey seeking forgiveness for sins of the past year. They fast for twenty four hours; they pray for for forgiveness for sins only against the almighty; and they ask first to be inscribed in the book of life and then finally sealed in the book of life for the next year. What a beautiful concept: the book of life.
Interwoven throughout Yom Kippur is the credenda that sins one might have committed against another in the past year are not forgiven on Yom Kippur. For that you need to address the person you have hurt and ask for forgiveness.
Isn't that part of what we're all about? Helping people right their wrongs. Prosecutors enforce the law; defense attorneys (at times) help guide their clients to the path of forgiveness and hopefully redemption.
Of course that is an idealized concept. The truth is that we know cops and prosecutors often overcharge our clients and defense attorneys often find themselves fighting to protect their clients in a system that punishes almost every little slight with a prison minimum mandatory sentence.
But wouldn't it be wonderful if a sense of the next twenty four hours pervaded our work? Where one person says "I'm sorry" and the other person says "I forgive you."
It doesn't have to be a pie in the sky ideal.
We believe it is tradition on this day for those who follow Yom Kippur to wish the following for their friends and family:
Have an easy fast.