With the setting of the sun, this coming Wednesday (9/20) through Sunday, Jews across the world will begin the observance of the “Yomim Noraim “(Days of Awe), a ten-day period that is book-ended by the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. What most people don’t realize (and what liberal Jews will not accept), The theme of the High Holidays is antithetical to the big government principals of liberalism and progressivism. So are the principals of other religions. One might say that big government is the faith for people who have lost their religion.
The Jewish High Holidays are all about personal responsibility. All the prayers and readings are just tools to help us look inward, formulate a personal accounting of our deeds over the past year, good and bad, and to understand what we have learned or need to learn to correct.
Even the method of atoning for our sins goes against progressive values. Jews are taught that our Maker is not a big massive government that will fix everything for us. For earthly type mistakes, we must first approach the people we harmed to request forgiveness and if necessary, make restitution to them. Then we must discover what led us to behave that way and correct the flaw catalyzing such behavior. Only then can we approach God for absolution.
It’s not that God cannot fix everything but his direct involvement would destroy the delicate balance he set up during creation.
The creation narrative in the book of Genesis explains that man is created in God’s image. With those words, the Torah is not teaching us that we are all dead ringers for the “big guy upstairs.” If that were the case, everyone’s driver’s license would have the same picture, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue would seem a bit creepy, and crimes would go unsolved due to the fact that eyewitness testimony would be useless, and everyone would have the same DNA.
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