Yom Kippur - Being Human and Atonement

It's Yom Kippur - the jewish day of Atonement, or at-one-ment as I prefer to think of it.

One of the readings is the book of Jonah - the prophet who was eaten by the fish and spewed up on the shore of Nineveh. However, the thing I really love about the story (and never realised how short it is until I read through it this morning!) is Johah's attitude - after everyone repents following his warning he goes off and sulks because God has forgiven them and he's been made to look like an idiot. Anyway, God lets this tree grow to give him shade and then the next day he sends a worm to eat the roots and kill the tree and Jonah is furious ... but it is Gods way of teaching him about compassion because God explains that the way Jonah feels about the tree (which he didn't play any part in creating) is nothing really compared to how much God cared about the people of Nineveh, who he did have a part in creating.

Anyway, one thing that struck me this morning was the short poem that summarises the journey to Nineveh and talks about being overwhelmed by the waves of Shoel and just made me think about the darkness of depression.

My other favourite black comedy is Job - the way all the messengers come on at the start describing one disaster after another is just pure farce - I know a lot of people have problems with Job. They tend to look to it for an answer to the question 'why is there suffering'. For me it is about transformation because the Job at the start is very different from the Job at the end - Job A does the right thing because he is scared of the consequences whereas Job B has a totally different attitude to life, the universe and everything - respect (including the self-confidence that comes from truly respecting himself), compassion, love and doing the right thing because it is the right thing.

I think depression is a bit like the transition between one way of looking at the world and another, much better, way of looking at the world. Its horrible to be there and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

Hope we all make it through to the other side soon

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3 Replies

  • Hi Gambit,

    Interesting one.


  • Very interesting x

  • Gambit, that was interesting for sure. Depression is a journey and I guess we all

    Have to try and look at our situations objectively. It's true we can choose to have hope and to be compassionate with ourselves and others too.