On Yom Kippur, each Jew in synagogue prays for atonement and beats his breast for his sins against God. He cries for divine forgiveness. He says, "before you, God, I am nothing. I am nobody."
One Yom Kippur Mr. Goldberg, a pillar of the community, goes into the synagogue. As he heads through the entrance hall, he passes Mr. Horowitz right there, praying and wailing loudly and pitifully.
Goldberg: "Come into the sanctuary to pray with us."
Horowitz: "I am too unworthy to be in the same room with everyone else."
While Goldberg frowns over this answer, his neighbor Mr. Schwartz enters the lobby. Goldberg says to Schwartz, pointing to Horowitz, "Look who thinks he's nobody!"
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Yom Kippur Any Time
Whenever I catch myself beating myself up about something, I tell myself this story, and it pulls me out of it, even if it's not Yom Kippur: