WHAT DOES A PSYCHIATRIST THINK ABOUT YOM KIPPUR? by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

I think a reprise is in order.

Yom Kippur is the Jewish day of atonement, the day when God will either write you into the “Book of life” or not. Holy Moses! (To coin an appropriate cliche). This is serious business. If you don’t make the godly cut, you’re no longer counted as one of 13.75 million jews that make up 0.2% of the 7 billion world population. You are officially part of the stuff that helps plants grow.

Obviously, I’m making light of the most solemn day of the Jewish year, but because I don’t believe that God has a GPS unit tied to all 7 billion of us doesn’t mean that I don’t think there are valuable aspects to this day and valuable moral and ethical things to learn. It is a day of coming together with family and friends, a day of reflection and tradition, a day when we are encouraged to make amends for any hurts and wounds we might have inflicted on another person. It is a day of personal reflection.

In my opinion, the key here is MAKING AMENDS AND REFLECTING ON OUR LIVES AND OUR BEHAVIOR. (Sadly, since the man in The White House never mistakes and is always right, he’s exempt.)

You aren’t absolved of your transgressions by a high-priest rabbi and you don’t have to kill any non-believers. You simply have to do what you should have done all along, fix whatever bad thing you might have done. In some cases, “sorry” may be enough. In others, you may need to do some real cash reimbursing or spend whatever time and effort is necessary to right the wrong.

If indeed there is a god who has all 7 billion of us hooked up to his Garmin or Google Maps, we’d be making him/her very proud. What a relief that he doesn’t have to keep a record of all our good and bad deeds or whether we paid 14% or 50% on our taxes. Acting like a decent human being will take a lot of pressure off the “big guy”.

If you enjoyed reading, Inside the Mind of a Psychiatrist, you might also enjoy Dr. Smukler’s novels, Chasing Backwards, a psychological murder mystery, Skin Dance, a mystery, and The Man with a Microphone in his Ear. All are available as paperbacks and eBooks.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Inside the Mind of a Psychiatrist.

3 thoughts on “WHAT DOES A PSYCHIATRIST THINK ABOUT YOM KIPPUR? by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

  1. I have to say, Art, that I was disappointed in this article–mainly because I could have written it, and I have no special pyschiatric knowledge or insight. Why not write about subjects that your psychiatric training could address? Instead of the approach you took in this article, how about the psychological reasons we NEED to make amends at all. What drives those of us who are decent people to want to make amends? What does it do for us? And why do sociopathic personalities NEVER make amends? Amends/apologies are important and deserve a bit more of an in-depth article, don’t you agree? I hope there are not hard feelings–this is just my opinion. Best, Carson Buckingham

    For stunning (and affordable) photography for your home or workspace, do yourself a big favor and check out http://chiprutan.com/. I am the proud owner of two of Chip’s limited edition pieces, and they won’t be the last two! Talent to watch here–go take a look! My blog: carsonbuckingham.blogspot.com My editing services: writetothepointservices.blogspot.com



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