Including some thought provoked about atonement
It sure was here in Dallas, for the start of Yom Kippur. (I had Kol Nidre playing on the stereo at the same time.)
It made me think that if I weren’t already an atheist having sprung out of a conservative Protestant background, I wouldn’t mind being an atheist with a current Reform Jewish heritage.
How do you ask forgiveness if there’s no personal deity? It’s possible; obviously, Theravada Buddhists have been doing this for thousands of years. I, in the past, worked through how one has an “attitude of gratitude” when you believe there’s nobody to whom to be grateful.
First, if you approach this from a communal point of view, there’s other people from whom to ask forgiveness. Beyond that, and not to sound New Agey, maybe you do need to ask forgiveness from yourself. After all, if prayer is really a heart-to-heart talk with yourself then atonement is on the same line.
So there you go.