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Reflecting on sin, and striving for correction

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Rosh Hashanah is our time for gathering together with family to reflect on the past year and plan for the next. None of us is without sin, none of us will remain without sin. Our strength as Jews is recognizing our misdeeds and striving to correct them, not repeat them. As a people, this is customarily an internal impetus. As an individual, I have customarily used Rosh Hashanah as a milestone to reflect on my own behavior and actions, correct, and reset. Religiously, we are required to do so.

We Jews are a strange lot – we’re accustomed to existing as a minority whose imperfections are magnified by others that exaggerate and distort our characteristics for purposes of antisemitism. We often give others the credibility to accuse us collectively and individually without basis in reality. Sometimes we reflect on those allegations, and often internalize them.

Without clear rational or genetic reason, and no matter how religiously non-observant we may be, we Jews have learned to react collectively. When crimes or misdeeds are committed and reported, often, we worry, “Please let the criminal not be Jewish.” Why? Because we know it feeds into rampant antisemitism. We are collectively blamed for the actions of individual Jews.


© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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