A PSYCHIATRIST THINKS 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 or big gal”.

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.

4 thoughts on “A PSYCHIATRIST THINKS ABOUT YOM KIPPUR, by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

  1. What’s a Garmin?
    “His or Her”: aren’t you being “gender insensitive” ?

    You should read Yuval Harari’s “Sapiens”,
    It will give you an entirely fresh view of
    humans and life. Its been on top of
    the Best Seller lists for years, with his follow
    Up “Homo Deux”.
    Well worth the effort. We have a small book
    Club just discussing these ,

    G’mar hatimah tova,
    Best, Barry


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