YOM KIPPUR COUNTDOWN – DAY 7

Posted on October 2, 2011. Filed under: Bananas, Cakes, Dairy, Desserts, Ethnic Recipe, Jewish, Kosher Recipe, My Ramblings, Recipes, Sour Cream, Yom Kippur | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |


A theme that is central to Yom Kippur is forgiveness.  I think this is one of the most difficult themes we have to deal with throughout the High Holidays as well as throughout our lives.  “Forgiveness” is defined as :

1. The act of forgiving or the state of being forgiven[1]

2. willingness to forgive[2]

A Mothers Kisses by Jared Kendall

A Mother’s Kisses by Jared Kendall

(God) pardons like a mother who kisses away the repentant tears of her child —Henry Ward Beecher

“The overarching theme of Yom Kippur is repentance. During the holiday all thoughts are supposed to be centered on this theme. From Kol Nidrei to the repeated Viddui to Neilah, the day revolves around the theme of communal repentance for sins committed during the past year, in order that both the community and the individual be inscribed in the Book of Life for the coming year.”[3]

“There are two distinct relationships in Judaism: person to person and person to God. To atone for deeds committed against another person, Jewish tradition teaches, you must confront that person directly and apologize. Yom Kippur will address the impact that deed had on your relationship with God, but without the personal apology, the deed remains uncorrected. This element of the day often leads to difficult self-assessments and personal accountability for the choices made in the previous year.”[4]

I find it very easy to ask G-d for forgiveness, but I am not sure he forgives me or not.  Some years I really wonder.  I also am not confident at this point that I know how to truly ask him or anyone else for forgiveness and I’m not sure I know how to be truly repentant.  I wonder if it is the same feeling for the criminal who wants to repent his crime.  Perhaps he/she is truly wishing to repent but does not know how.  What does that person do and how does he/she approach G-d for forgiveness?

We are taught by the Rabbis that repentance is the prerequisite of atonement.  So, without repentance there is no forgiveness, but we are given chance upon chance upon chance to repent.  Every day we can repent, not only during the High Holy Days, and not only during Yom Kippur.

Rabbinic Jewish literature contains extensive discussions on the subject of repentance. Many rabbinic sources state that repentance is of paramount importance to the existence of this world, so that it was one of the seven provisions which G-d made before the Creation (Talmud Bavli, tractates Pesahim 54a; Nedarim 39b; Midrash Genesis Rabbah 1).”[5]

It is too bad that repentance doesn’t work with countries.  Perhaps, if it did, there would be fewer wars.  But, countries are made out of people, and it seems that the people in charge don’t want to repent or don’t think they need to repent.   Perhaps if they really cared and if they really understood the 10 Commandments and their religion’s version of the Bible, there wouldn’t be so many wars.  Taken on a purely personal basis, perhaps there would be fewer divorces and torn apart families.  And perhaps neighborhoods would be safer places to live in.

In Order To Repent You Need To Turn Your Behavior Around!

G-d saw the importance of forgiveness so why can’t we practice it more?  I know it hurts to admit to being wrong.  I know we would like to think of ourselves as perfection.  I know that it can be humiliating to ask for forgiveness.  But we need to try.  We need to focus on our actions not just on the words, “I am sorry.”  The core of a true apology is the recognition of injury or wrong-doing, and a genuine expression of repentance for it. You have to recognize and admit the wrong-doing; and you have to be genuinely sorry.  Let go of the wrongs, let go of the engrained patterns — forgive and be forgiven.
I have an idea.  Try to truly forgive one person this year.  That is a good starting place.  Then next year try to ask forgiveness from someone you have wronged.  To start off, I ask anyone whom I have offended in any way during the past 64 years of my life to please forgive me.  I will try harder this year to be a better person.  So, here, publicly, I forgive Bonnie Stoler, a girl who I went to grammar school with who was not very nice to me.  I am finally going to let go of my grudge against her.  Please, Bonnie, if you are reading this, and I hope you are, I forgive you.

To help sweeten my apology, I am offering this recipe:

Bananas Yummmm!

Banana-Sour Cream Coffee Cake

=============================

Yield: 1 (10-inch) coffee cake

Ingredients

1-1/4 cups sugar, divided

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 large eggs

1 cup mashed banana

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation

Stir together 1/4 cup sugar, pecans, and cinnamon; sprinkle half of mixture in a well-greased 12-cup Bundt pan. Set remaining mixture aside.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy;

gradually add remaining 1 cup sugar, beating 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears.

Add banana, sour cream, and vanilla, beating at low speed just until blended.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; fold into butter mixture.

Pour half of batter into prepared pan; sprinkle with remaining pecan mixture. Top with remaining batter. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan, and cool on wire rack.

Source:  Mrs. H.W. Walker, Richmond, Virginia, Southern Living OCTOBER 1997


[1] http://www.thefreedictionary.com

[2] Ibid.

[3] http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Jewish_Holidays/Yom_Kippur/Yom_Kippur_101.shtml

[4] Op Cit. http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Jewish_Holidays/Yom_Kippur/Themes_and_Theology.shtml

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repentance#In_the_Hebrew_Bible

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