The holiest day in the Jewish calendar has just come to a close. Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, is a 25-hour solemn fast, a day dedicated to introspection, prayer and asking God for forgiveness for all the sins of the year passed. Faithful observance of Yom Kuppur is said to confer another year of life, health and happiness – until the next opportunity for atonement.
How different are our religious upbringings, me and Yeshi. When I was little our family did mark the occasion of Yom Kippur. Most Jewish people do, even if – like us – they do not attend synagogue on any other day. As kids, my sisters and I would reflect on the arguments we’d had and the trouble we’d caused, but mostly Yom Kippur was an endurance exercise – how long could we go without food/water/TV? All that soul-searching was rather a flash in the pan.
When Yeshi was growing up in Tibet, considering his actions and how they impacted others was a way of life, not something that he reflected on once a year. The idea that a slate could be wiped clean by appealing to a higher power is also a complete departure from the teachings of his childhood.
Back in Tibet, Yeshi was taught that wrongdoings were not a breach against the Buddha, but rather an example of ignorance in action: suffering and harm, say Buddhists, come about when we do not understand our own nature and the reality we inhabit. This being the case, repentance is in our own hands and doesn’t have to wait for any year-end. There’s just some inner work to be done.
But my religion and Yeshi’s come together in beautiful ways on the occasion of Yom Kippur. Because although this is a day of private reflection in the Jewish calendar, it’s also a moment that family and friends convene to start and break the fast, and to recite confessional statements in synagogue that are worded firmly in the plural. It is a day of unity, when everyone comes together to face their challenges as a collective. Oneness in action – how Buddhist!
No fasting this week for us – we are open the usual hours, as follows:
Wednesday – Friday: 5-9.30pm (dinner only)
Saturday: 12-3 (lunch) / 5-9.30pm (dinner)
This week’s menu is out now – check it! You can dine with us or take away for a night at home. We also have good stocks of pretty much everything in our freezers, including family-sized boxes of our Famous Chicken Curry and Tibetan Dal. Come forage.
We look forward to seeing you!
Julie and Yeshi
Opening hours this week:
Weds – Fri: 5-9.30pm
Sat: 12-3pm 🥢 5-9.30pm
☏ 01865 499318
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