Yom Kippur 2011

It is that special time of year where we spend tonight and tomorrow striving for forgiveness from our friends, family and anyone we might have wronged over the past year and also from the big man in sky. When I was a kid, enduring the shul services made me feel as though I had more than made up for any wrong doing that I had done over the past year and had, in fact, given me license to be a little bit wicked, at least for a while.
Now in the 21st century a quick Facebook update and a couple of text messages are all it takes to broadcast humble wishes for forgiveness to the electronic masses. Thankfully I have reached an age where I don''t have to endure shul services any more, mind you were I still in London I''m sure my mum would still be schlapping me over to Kinloss to endure a million muffled conversations amongst fellow repentees in a very hot stuffy room filled by people who haven''t seen a shul since the Yom Kippur before.
So now I take this opportunity to apologise to all those who I might have wronged or made to feel bad in any way by my actions over the previous year, or indeed at all. Let me go further and expunge my soul, please forgive me for the times I did wrong even when I knew I was doing wrong, please forgive me for teasing or making you feel bad, please forgive me for making a fool of you and/or myself at the same time and most importantly of all please forgive me for talking about you behind your back.
It occurs to me as I make this very public, very personal appeal just how valuable it is to have this day of repentance, this opportunity to wipe the slate clean and lay myself bare before all and most importantly G-d himself. I wish that whole countries could have a Yom Kippur too, how good it would be if all the nations of the world could take one day and confess all of the wrongs that they had done as a collective and beg forgiveness from the other nations of the world. There would be some pretty ugly confessions made over at the UN, there would have to be some serious soul searching from enemies asking one another for forgiveness.
I wonder, if Israel could talk, what would she say to the other countries of the world on the Day of Days? Would her apologies be accepted? Would she accept the apologies of others? What would Israel say if the Syrians plead for her forgiveness? What would Israel say if, after pleading forgiveness of Israel Syria raised an eyebrow and said "well aren''t you going to ask for anything from me?"