YOM KIPPUR: Someone else we should forgive

Hannah Jannol and Jordana Glouberman


Shalhevet students and staff are repenting for lots of things this year — at least most of them are.

By Eva Suissa, Torah Editor

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the Jewish year. It is a day for repentance, atonement, forgiveness. But something has always bothered me about that, and today I know why.

Each year, in the weeks leading up to Yom Kippur, everyone crams in their apologies. I’ve lost count on how many times this month I’ve been sent the classic “I’m sorry if I’ve ever done anything to hurt you” text.

However, it seems that after Rosh Hashanah, everyone forgets about themselves.

Recently, I’ve been doing more and more meditation, because my sister is really into yoga. At the end of each yoga class we go to together, there is something called savasana, where we spend five minutes lying on our backs breathing, meditating and resting. The yoga teacher might give a short speech on some philosophy at that time — usually about self-reflection and self-acceptance.

I’ve realized that this is what is missing from Yom Kippur — savasana. We spend so much time apologizing to others that we forget to apologize to ourselves. We forget to be kind to ourselves. We forget that it’s okay if we make mistakes sometimes.

Of course we should continue to be kind to other people, and to ask for, receive and grant forgiveness. But this Yom Kippur, let’s try to continue the trend of self-reflection that Rosh Hashanah started. Besides, how can we truly forgive others if we don’t know how to forgive ourselves?