Several days ago, the Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning announced it’s “cyber al cheit,” a way for local Jews to anonymously submit their more modern sins an online, communal atonement. Still days before Yom Kippur, PJLL has gotten a staggering and heartfelt response, and they’ve published the results here (to be updated daily—still time to submit your own!)
I think my favorite thing about this initiative is how it makes the al cheit more relative. So many people view the rituals of Yom Kippur just as something to endure year after year, with no lasting impact on our lives. We’ve been beating our chests over murder and coveting land for generations! Very few of us covet livestock anymore, or can relate to some of the other specific biblical injunctions. However, “Repent it Forward” reminds us that human fallacy and the need for self-reflection and forgiveness are as valid now as they were 3,000 years ago. Putting it online gives the added bonus of giving our modern trappings legitimacy. Things’ve changed a bit around here, but we can use these new forms of communication not to distance ourselves but to become more connected to the Jewish people. That’s a true mitzvah.
May we all be inscribed in the Book of Life.