Thinking about Yom Kippur

The Jewish Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur, began last night and goes through the whole day until this evening, when the observant will break the fast that marks this holiest of days in that tradition.

I am not Jewish, and I am not writing here about the religious aspects of this holiday.  Rather, this morning I woke up thinking about the meaning of Yom Kippur and atonement and forgiveness.

Not knowing a whole lot about the Day of Atonement, I decided to do a little internet research to see what symbolism is associated with it.  The number 5 seemed to be important to Yom Kippur (if I can trust the information I found online):

  • There are 5 prayer services on this day.
  • In the section of the Torah that addresses Yom Kippur, the word soul appears 5 times.
  • “Soul” is known by 5 different names (soul, wind, spirit, living one, unique one) in the Torah.

In numerology, the number five is a restless sort of number.  It represents selfishness and a lack of discipline as well as change and constant motion.

Hmmmm. . . . Does restlessness lead to self-examination?  Or do the undisciplined use constant motion as a way to AVOID reflection?  I’m curious about this connection of Five Energy and the Day of Atonement.  I know for  me, I do often use movement as a sort of meditation.  If I am stuck on a personal issue, I will go for a walk or run; it will usually clear my head and lead to resolution.

Do you have any reflective practices?  Do you reflect at all?  What traditions do you follow for atonement or adjustment of your behavior?  I would love to hear your thoughts!