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Yom Kippur started Tuesday night. What are you atoning for?
September 25th, 2012
03:46 PM ET

Yom Kippur started Tuesday night. What are you atoning for?

(CNN) - What have you atoned for? What would you atone for if you were into that sort of thing?

Tuesday evening marked the beginning of Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, which Jews consider to be holiest day of the year. It's marked by a day-long fast.

Photos: Yom Kippur in Israel

In the spirit of the holiday, we put the question "What would you atone for?" to Twitter and got a range of responses, from silly to serious:

@JuneMDriedger
For faithlessness.

@heatherjochens
I would atone for my laziness and impatience. However, I am Catholic and I atone for about 40 days in Spring also.

@PennyofaThought
I don't need to atone for anything. Jesus Christ already atoned for every wrong thing I've ever done or will do.

@llieNOtreB
in 3rd grade I pushed my sister down the stairs and blamed it on the dog.

What about you? What are you atoning for? What would you atone for if you did celebrate the holiday?

Or maybe you already did some serious atoning this year, during Lent or Ramadan. Whatever the case, share your atonement stories with us, and we'll update this post with the best responses.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Holidays • Judaism

soundoff (349 Responses)
  1. Tracy

    When I was a kid, my shul has a xeroxed book that had all the sins you could have committed in alphabetical order...

    September 26, 2012 at 5:10 am |
  2. Good News

    Have a real blessed and happy "Yom Kippur," O children of Israel,
    when/if you hearken to the Voice of this long awaited and anticipated Descendant of David,
    who has thus already come with "GOOD NEWS" for all righteous Jews and all Humanity
    right here now! (Psalms 118/22-26)

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES

    September 26, 2012 at 1:19 am |
  3. Irene Au

    I am so grateful to be able to ask for forgiveness from the people I have harmed in this life and past lives as we have lived many a lifetime. I need not approach them physically but talk to their souls. I also need to forgive all who have harmed me in this lifetime and past lifetimes and release them from any karmic debt hanging between us. Sometimes we hurt others unconsciously, and other times on purpose. To do a daily inventory and also be reminded on a yearly basis is so helpful.

    September 26, 2012 at 1:03 am |
  4. McDuck Quackerton

    People should atone for clinging to the childish fairy tales known as religion.

    September 26, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • Hello

      Dude, you're a dick. This isn't even discussing public policy. This is just discussing some other peoples' religion. You might find them silly. That's cool. You aren't enlightened because you choose to mock another person's religion. You aren't a better human being. You're just as bad as the zealots and the crazies.

      September 26, 2012 at 2:24 am |
    • Jay

      Your a fool.

      September 26, 2012 at 2:56 am |
  5. Eric

    Ending sentences in prepositions

    September 26, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  6. Bob

    Paul Ryan needs to atone for saying he ran a marathon over an hour less than he really did. Oh, and for all the lies in his convention speech. Well, any speech he gives. The guy just can't tell the truth.

    September 25, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
  7. Theen Allah Fat Mullah (the original hinduism source.....)

    make atonement Paki turd, misguided santan of Theen, Navi A, messenger of hate absolute 360*, then and now, for your ticket to Jinnat.

    September 25, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
  8. Reality

    Orthodox Jews, Christians and Muslims should atoning for not keeping up with the 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis !!

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    To wit:

    origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

    The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

    The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel – not one shard of pottery."

    September 25, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • Randall

      Maybe that's just because Jews actually pick up their garbage instead of tossing it on the side of the road. 😛

      September 26, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Tracy

      You know, that's funny... I've been having trouble with my gentile housemate... The guy breaks all my dishes...hes a total klutz and doesn't seen to treat things nicely... maybe that's why there is so much ancient gentile pottery out there...they just don't know how to gently was a dish..,..,

      September 26, 2012 at 5:06 am |
    • ....

      REPEAT BULL SH IT AND LIES

      September 26, 2012 at 5:33 am |
  9. A1P

    Nice. Very classy to let the Christians spew their smug garbage ON AN ARTICLE ABOUT THE HOLIEST DAY IN JUDAISM.

    September 25, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • End Religion

      a1, all religion is a fraud. If you suffer from a brand of this delusion, it is no less crazy than any other.

      September 25, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
  10. Joel Johnson

    I find confession and atonement to be something uncomfortable in the moment but bringing freedom and life after. It is me putting the past behind me and being forgiven. After I can look forward to building off my new clean slate and renewed relationship with God. It is not about meditating on sin but dealing with it and leaving it behind.

    September 25, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  11. 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

    Fucking Nothing! Certainly nothing to do with religion other than maybe for wasting years in christian cult programming sessions aka Sunday school and church.

    September 25, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • DalcassianKnight

      Christianity is a cult????? I have news for you, Atheism is a cult. You make it sound like Christians or any follower of any religion is a brain-dead zombie who conforms to the masses. True religion is NOT a team sport. It's about a personal relationship with one's savior. I'll say it again... a "PERSONAL" relationship with the savior.

      You think you're enlightened? You think you're smarter or better than "Believers". I feel sorry for you. I'm going to Heaven, I would love for you to be there with me. I'll pray for you.

      September 26, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Yes, christianity is a cult and you would acknowledge that if you used a dictionary. And you are worshipping a dead zombie, unless of course you have some evidence for your imaginary friend.

      September 26, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • Chad

      "unless of course you have some evidence for your imaginary friend"

      =>ignoring the origin of the universe, the fine tuning of it for the building blocks of life, the origin of life on earth, and the development of life into it's current level of complexity.. there's always the resurrection 🙂

      that's pretty powerful proof.

      September 27, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Chad, you know none of the things you mentioned is evidence. Just more baseless claims.

      September 27, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • Chad

      @0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls "... Just more baseless claims...."

      @Chad "just responding with "that's all nonsense" or something similar shouldnt be construed as a refutation of any kind. You would have to demonstrate how they are baseless in order to do that.

      which you wont 🙂

      It is much easier to say "that's all nonsense" than to actually try and put together an actual argument based on data.

      September 27, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Huebert

      @Chad

      "ignoring the origin of the universe, the fine tuning of it for the building blocks of life, the origin of life on earth, and the development of life into it's current level of complexity.. there's always the resurrection"

      I'll play. Here is while your claims are baseless.

      Everything, even time, came in to existence with the big bang. Therefor, there is no reason that to as.sume that causality applies to the big bang. How could there be causality without a linear progression of time?

      There is no reason to as.sume that the universe is "fine tuned" for life. It is far simpler to as.sume that the universe simply happens to be in a state which is conducive to the formation of life.

      The origin of life on earth is unknown, but that does not mean that god is the cause. And the theory of evolution is a perfectly adequate explanation for how life reached it's current level of complexity.

      Finally their is no evidence that the resurrection ever happened. It is far more likely that the resurrection is simply a myth.

      September 27, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Chad

      @Huebert “Everything, even time, came in to existence with the big bang. Therefor, there is no reason that to as.sume that causality applies to the big bang. How could there be causality without a linear progression of time?”
      @Chad “defining “causality” so as to preclude any discussion regarding the external agency responsible for the origin of the universe is a pretty transparent dodge.
      There are no cosmologists today that attempt that dodge as you have done. The multiverse theory is an example of an external agent being looked at by atheist scientists.

      ==========
      @Huebert “There is no reason to as.sume that the universe is "fine tuned" for life. It is far simpler to as.sume that the universe simply happens to be in a state which is conducive to the formation of life.
      @Chad “LOL for two reasons:
      1. The universe IS fine-tuned for the building blocks of life, that is accepted.
      "There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned' for life"."...the conclusion is not so much that the Universe is fine-tuned for life; rather it is fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life requires" Paul Davies
      2. Noting that our universe is fine-tuned, does not in and of itself require a creator, there are several non-theistic theories on why this is the case. The multiverse hypothesis for example as sumes the existence of many universes with different physical constants, some of which are hospitable to intelligent life

      ==========
      @Huebert “The origin of life on earth is unknown, but that does not mean that god is the cause. “
      @Chad “true, but the theistic theory explains it, the atheistic/naturalistic theory does not.

      ==========
      @Huebert “And the theory of evolution is a perfectly adequate explanation for how life reached it's current level of complexity.”
      @Chad “No it isn’t, there is simply no viable theory whatsoever even on the table that can explain the stasis/rapid change we see in the fossil record. None.

      ==========
      @Huebert “Finally their is no evidence that the resurrection ever happened. It is far more likely that the resurrection is simply a myth.”
      @Chad “explain the origin of the belief by the disciples that they had witnessed a resurrected Christ then. Explain how a movement based in totality on the presence of an empty tomb could have flourished in the presence of an occupied one.
      Strong evidence indeed 🙂

      September 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      You call my first point a dodge, I call it an answer. I fail to see how their can be a cause for the event that is the starting point of time. But even if you don't accept it, the fact that I can't explain the origin of the universe does not mean that god is the cause.

      I still take Issue with the term "fine tuned". Fine tuned implies that their is a plan and life is the goal of said plan. I still say that the laws of our universe exist in such a way as to allow life to form, heck the laws of our universe may even encourage the formation of life, but it is still simpler to as.sume that it is an accident, and not the will of some creator.

      The fact that the theistic theory of life explain life's origins means absolutely nothing. There is no evidence to support the theistic theory.

      Argument from incredulity. You are claiming that because evolution is not an adequate explanation, for YOU, it is inadequate for everyone. This is simply untrue. While the theory of evolution may not explain every facet of the origin of life, It is one of the most productive and supportive theories in all of science. If you have a better theory I suggest you publish it, if you do you'll have a Nobel Prize by next year.

      This last one is the easiest. First some of the disciples hid Jesus's body, then they lied and said they saw him resurrected and walking around. No miracles, just con-men.

      September 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Chad

      @Huebert “You call my first point a dodge, I call it an answer”
      @Chad “it’s a dodge, no atheist cosmologists attempt to do the same, that's the nail in that coffin.

      ==========
      @Huebert “I still take Issue with the term "fine tuned". Fine tuned implies that their is a plan and life is the goal of said plan.”
      @Chad “no it doesn’t, you are confusing “fine tuning” with the “anthropic principle”
      ACCORDING TO GROWING NUMBERS OF SCIENTISTS, the laws and constants of nature are so "finely-tuned," and so many "coincidences" have occurred to allow for the possibility of life, the universe must have come into existence through intentional planning and intelligence. In fact, this "fine-tuning" is so pronounced, and the "coincidences" are so numerous, many scientists have come to espouse "The Anthropic Principle," which contends that the universe was brought into existence intentionally for the sake of producing mankind. Even those who do not accept The Anthropic Principle admit to the "fine-tuning" and conclude that the universe is "too contrived" to be a chance event.

      ==========
      @Huebert “I still say that the laws of our universe exist in such a way as to allow life to form, heck the laws of our universe may even encourage the formation of life, but it is still simpler to as.sume that it is an accident, and not the will of some creator.”
      @Chad “ “simpler”? In what way? A. it doesn’t explain why there is fine tuning in any way shape or form B. It may be “simpler” to deny reality, but it’s kind of silly to do so..

      ==========
      @Huebert “The fact that the theistic theory of life explain life's origins means absolutely nothing. There is no evidence to support the theistic theory.”
      @Chad “?? LOL
      A. the fact that the theistic theory explains it, makes it a very good theory!
      B. there IS evidence, the universe exists, its origin MUST have had an external agent, that isnt even debated. The debate is "what is that external agent?"

      ==========
      @Huebert “While the theory of evolution may not explain every facet of the origin of life, It is one of the most productive and supportive theories in all of science. If you have a better theory I suggest you publish it, if you do you'll have a Nobel Prize by next year.”
      @Chad “evolution simply says that change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. It does not explain HOW those changes are introduced. That is precisely where it falls apart as a purely naturalistic explanation.

      I reject the notion that a failed naturalistic theory should still be embraced until a working one comes along.

      ==========
      @Huebert “This last one is the easiest. First some of the disciples hid Jesus's body, then they lied and said they saw him resurrected and walking around. No miracles, just con-men.”
      @Chad “ A theory long ago discarded as in any way shape or form sufficient in explanatory scope, for just a few of the following reasons:
      If Jesus did not actually rise from the dead, why did the disciples go from frightened, timid followers of Jesus before his death, to bold evangelists willing to die preaching his resurrection if they just really made the whole thing up and he was still dead?

      Why were the disciples willing to be tortured and killed for a known lie? (people do not go to their deaths willingly for something they KNOW to be false).

      Why would they make up the resurrection story if Jesus turned out to be a fraud? Remember, Jesus told them he would rise after 3 days. If he was still dead on day four, that means he wasn’t who he claimed he was, he wasn’t the Messiah and certainly wasn’t God after all, so why would the disciples worship a dead guy who lied to them and was exposed as a fraud?

      How did Saul of Tarsus, the chief persecutor of Christians convert to become the Apostle Paul, the chief follower of Jesus if he didn’t really have an encounter with a risen Jesus?

      How could the disciples even steal the body in the first place? The body was encased in a tomb with a 24 hour watch by Roman guards

      Why did the disciples make themselves look bad in the Gospels? Think about it, if you were going to make up a story, wouldn’t you present yourself in somewhat of a positive light? The disciples painted themselves as sniveling cowards lacking in faith – Bob Dutko

      September 27, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  12. Nicole

    did anyone ever consider that people with caps lock on might have poor eye sight? atone for that.

    September 25, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      In that case they need to learn how to use the accessibility features – either in their operating system, or learn to use the zoom feature built into the browser.

      It's still bad form to use all capitals.

      September 25, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
  13. ClearThinking

    Atonement?
    Know yourself.
    When you do the wrong thing and hurt another or cause yourself problems take the time to
    sit back, crack open a cold one and meditate. Long and hard. And then don't do the wrong thing again.

    September 25, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
  14. Evelyn Connaway

    TO ME ATONEMENT MEANS TO HAVE THE CHANCE TO GET A SECOND CHANGE TO DO SOMETHING YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE BUT LET IT PASS BY – LIKE HELPING SOMEONE YOU KNEW NEEDED HELP AND YOU DIDN'T GO FORTH AND OFFER THEM ASSISTANCE. OUR PUTTING OFF VISITING A SICK FRIEND UNTIL TOMORROW OR THE NEXT DAY, BUT IN THE INTERIM THEY DIED. YES YOU CAN ASK GOD TO FORGIVE YOU BUT ARE THOSE THINGS CONSIDERED A SIN – OR JUST A HUMAN FAILING ON MY PART? TO WHICH BY ATONEMENT I CAN MAKE SURE IT DOESN'T HAPPEN AGAIN – AND FAST FOR A DAY TO SHOW THAT I MEAN I AM TRULY SORRY. I BELIEVE IN EVERYONE'S RIGHT TO THE HOLIDAYS OF THEIR CHOICE – ESPECIALLY RELIGIOUS.

    September 25, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Evelyn,

      your "Caps Lock" key seems to be stuck on. Your posts would be a bit more readable without the EMPHASIS!

      September 25, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • ATONE FOR THE CONSTANT YELLING

      Okay so I see you'll need to ATONE for the yelling of every word in your post. No need to yell and if you feel the need to yell to get some ones attention perhaps just yell one word like this.

      ATTENTION may I please have you attention for a moment....

      This method works best because it brings a sense of urgency and importance to your post without the need to yell each word. Try it, OK

      September 26, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  15. llɐq ʎʞɔnq

    Because the creator of 600 se'xtillion stars is sitting around, keeping track of the sins, of one of the primate species,on an average planet, circling a boring sun, in the outer arm of an average galaxy, among billions of galaxies. Sure she is. Uh-huh. Right.

    September 25, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
  16. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    Or you could call the Atone Phone hotline
    1-888-667-7539, select "2" for the Atone Phone
    (1-888-OOPS-JEW)

    http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/419128/september-17-2012/atone-phone-ira-glass-calls

    Just don't press 5 unless you like horrible Helgas.

    September 25, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      press 6 for Carnal Christine

      September 26, 2012 at 2:03 am |
  17. Lee

    If atonement is supposed to be the confession of "sins"; why is it being observed as a holiday? The confession of sins is something between you and God Almighty. Honestly, He already knows what you have done even before you confess it, so talking to Him about it and asking forgiveness is what we all are expected to do; but what's with the "holiday" bit; aren't holidays secular?.

    September 25, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Marcello

      Lee, "holiday" is derived from "Holy Day". However, this bit of etymology appears lost on those who would replace the traditional "Merry Christmas".

      September 25, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Margaret

      Yom Kippur translates to "day of atonement", but it's not about confessing sins. It's about asking forgiveness and recognizing the sins you've committed. It's also not called a holiday, but a Holy Day...the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. In the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and YK, Jews are supposed to ask forgiveness from the people we've wronged and for sins we've committed. On YK, we focus on asking forgiveness from G-d. We refrain from eating, drinking, bathing, and other personal ablutions to focus solely on their personal dialogues with G-d. We go to synagogue, recite special prayers, and hear the Torah read. At the end of the day, our slates are wiped clean for the new year.

      Yom Kippur may look like a holiday (in the secular sense) on the surface because we take the day off from school and work, but that's really the only similarity. Hope this helped!

      September 25, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Jan

      holiday as in holy day.

      September 26, 2012 at 12:54 am |
  18. Neil Samuels

    Growing up Jewish and having a bar Mitzvah. I can with clear conscience say, Atoning for one's sins,...the very notion thereof is a perpetuation of childhood (instilled) trauma of voicelessness, unworthiness and guilt. How many actually realize and explore their underlying traumas in therapy and come to the same realization are unfortunately too far and few inbetween.

    September 25, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  19. USA

    Mittens you have my vote : )

    September 25, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
  20. tinyprof

    CNN, if you aren't going to monitor these boards, then take them down. Belief blog is a good site with interesting and thought-provoking articles, but the crazies and haters on the boards just cheapen the site. It's like trying to have an intelligent conversation with someone while some mad drunk keeps interjecting ignorant remarks. The subject of contrition on a holiday set aside for the purpose is a great topic–too bad it can't get off the ground. An opportunity to learn something and have an intelligent exchange has been lost to adolescent heckling.

    September 25, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Perhaps you should instead ask yourself why so many people object to your belief system. i find these boards a great outlet for the frustration caused by watching religion erode civil liberties, deny children a basic scientific education, chase ghosts and demons, snipe doctors, bomb hospitals, fly planes into buildings, etcetera ad infinitum.
      The heckling is an outlet for hard truth. "There be truth in jest."

      September 25, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Evelyn Connaway

      I APPRECIATE YOUR MENTIONING THE COMMENT BOARD, AS A PLACE TO HAVE AN INTELLIGENT CONVERSATION WITH AN UNKNOWN PERSON ABOUNT AN ARTICLE OR ABOUT THEIR OPINION OF THE ARTICLE – THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN THIS STRANGE PERSON COMES IN WITH A BUNCH OF GIBBERISH, HATE AND PROFANITY -TRULY LIKE A DRUNK THAT HAS LOST ALL SENSE OF COMMONSENSE AND REASON. AFTER I HAVE READ AN ARTICLE I THEN READ THE COMMENTS AND FROM SOME OF THEM I AM APPALLED AT WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY – I THINK THEY DO IT FOR SHOCK VALUE – LIKE ALL THE FEAR MONGERING TO SCARE THE MASSES.

      September 25, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • pat carr

      "i find these boards a great outlet for the frustration caused by watching religion erode civil liberties"

      well said me too. the original poster talks about "learning". what are you going to "learn" from ancient cults anyway? "contrition" and "atonement" are just words (like "sin") that these cults use to keep people enslaved in a prison of guilt. We have to put up with their interference in our lives but then they come on here complaining about our opposition.

      September 25, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • pat carr

      your all CAPS post is shock value!!

      September 25, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Tia

      I don't think anyone really comes to the CNN forums expecting intelligent conversation.

      September 26, 2012 at 1:01 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.