In my piecemeal continuing Jewish education, I recently learned about the month of Elul and the practice of selichot. Basically, the month of Elul, which comes before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a time for repentance. At the end of Elul, special prayers for forgiveness called selichot are offered. When I found out about these concepts from my co-workers recently, I was intrigued. I like the idea of a set month to really think about the things that I've done wrong over the past year and the ability to build up to asking for forgiveness for those I've wronged. It seems very therapeutic.
The problem is that I'm not very good at granting forgiveness on a macro level, not that the people who have wronged me (*cough*Republican Party*cough*Netanyahu*cough*for example*cough*) want my forgiveness. They wronged me - and millions of other people - in their ideological quests to do what they believe is correct. They probably want me to ask them for forgiveness for my values and beliefs. Since I don't think those are wrong, I'll not be doing that any time soon. Which is sort of a conundrum, isn't it?
Still, the idea is nice. I continue to be amazed by how little I know about the religion in which I was semi-raised. Since I am not likely to grant or achieve forgiveness this year, my fervent hope is for a peaceful, healthy, and happy new year for those near and dear to me.