Today is Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), the most important day in the Jewish calendar, when Jews traditionally ask God to forgive their sins of the previous year and to help them avoid sinning in the year to come. In synagogues across the world, fasting people will make the following confession as the first step towards repentance and, they hope, divine forgiveness. These aren’t individual confessions, but meant to be a comprehensive list of sins covering the whole of the community. As with any group, some people will approach this with sincerity and understanding, while for others it will only emphasise their hypocrisy.
‘We have trespassed, we have dealt treacherously, we have stolen, we have spoken slander, we have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, we have acted presumptuously, we have committed violence, we have framed falsehood, we have counselled evil, we have uttered lies, we have scorned, we have rebelled, we have blasphemed, we have revolted, we have acted perversely, we have transgressed, we have oppressed, we have been stiff-necked, we have acted wickedly, we have corrupted, we have done abominably, we have gone astray, and have caused others to err…’