The process of amends and their relation to religion has always been very interesting to me. Some believe God can absolve them of all sins and some believe God can’t, and that once a sin has been committed, we are doomed to hell for all of eternity.

Yet the view of amends in Judaism really resonates with myself and my soul.

This week, we celebrate the Day of Atonement– the holiest, and arguably the happiest day of the Jewish calendar. The day itself offers us forgiveness; on this day God is offering us a clean slate.

There is one major caveat: the forgiveness is for sins between Man and God– not sins between Man and Man. For God says: “How can I forgive you for a sin you have committed against another? I can only forgive for the sins against me”.

However, God gives a path to us– he suggests amends, whether it’s repayment of stolen goods, the causing of property damage, libel, etc., there exist specific ways to make amends, yet it must be between us and our fellows.

I would like to suggest one more thought based on the Jewish morning prayers. One of the prayers states, “God, the soul you have placed in me is holy”. When we go to sleep, it’s almost as though we die for a bit, and when we awake, we have a new soul, a clean soul, and a holy soul.

So, I say that every day we are given an amends and a clean slate from God, and all we have to do is keep it clean, and make sure to clean up our side of the street when it comes to our relationships with others.

I’m curious– what are your thoughts on how to make amends?

This week, let’s choose forgiveness. Let’s emulate God and choose to let go of the burden of our resentments and our anger, and let’s treat others with the love and kindness that we so want from them.

Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love

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