A Yom Kippur confession for this election year

October 11, 2016

"Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur," by Maurycy Gottlieb

(RNS) Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, begins at sundown this evening and lasts until nightfall tomorrow. In the course of a solemn day of fasting, we ask God for forgiveness through a number of prayers, the most important of which is the long confession of sins known as the Al Chet ("For the Sin").

An alphabetical acrostic (from aleph to tav in Hebrew), the Al Chet expresses our repentance for all possible sins -- some serious, others less so, committed by anyone in our community -- even as it identifies just one sin per letter.

Nevertheless, it's useful to name those sins that are most relevant to one's time and place. As in the following English acrostic:

For the Sin, 2016

For the sin which we have committed before You with Arrogance,

And for the sin which we have committed before You by Bad hair.

For the sin which we have committed before You with Confusion of mind,

And for the sin which we have committed before You by Demonization of  adversaries.

For the sin which we have committed before You by Extreme vetting,

And for the sin which we have committed before You by Fat-shaming.

For the sin which we have committed before You by Groping,

And for the sin which we have committed before You by Hyping our achievements.

For the sin which we have committed before You by Ignorance of public policy,

And for the sin which we have committed before You by Juvenile name-calling.

For the sin which we have committed before You by Keeping a private email server,

And for the sin which we have committed before You by speaking evil on Live mics.

For the sin which we have committed before You by persistent Mendacity,

And for the sin which we have committed before You by persistent Narcissism.

For the sin which we have committed before You by Ogling,

And for the sin which we have committed before You by Pledging to jail our political opponents.

For the sin which we have committed before You by Quarreling with members of our own party.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by Race-baiting.

For the sin which we have committed before You by Stiffing contractors,

And for the sin which we have committed before You by Taking huge fees from Goldman Sachs while running for public office.

For the sin which we have committed before You by Unhinged tweeting,

And for the sin which we have committed before You by Vindictiveness.

For the sin which we have committed before You by Wall-fakery,

And for the sin which we have committed before You by Xenophobia.

For the sin which we have committed before You by Yelling at subordinates,

And For the sin which we have committed before You by Zero taxpaying.

For all these sins, merciful God, forgive us, pardon us, grant us atonement.