Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Welcoming Our eScapegoat

Atonement* Sponsored by B'nai Israel: Last year, Abq Jew was happy (see For the Cleansing of Sins: Redux) to announce a total of four five ways to cleanse oneself from a year's worth of sin.

The most popular way turned out to be  

2. Send A Goat To Azazel

In Bible times, Israelites atoned with sacrifices. 
Once a year, on what we now call Yom Kippur, the High Priest placed all the Israelites' sins on a goat and set it loose in the wilderness.

The High Priest took two goats. He sacrificed one - and then he laid his hands on the other, transferring the community's sins onto it. Then, he sent the scapegoat off into the wilderness.

From the goat's perspective, neither path ended well.
But that was then.

Today, we reflect and try to clean our slates during Elul, the Hebrew month before Yom Kippur. Elul is all about atonement.

Last year the folks at provided the whole world with one very busy eScapegoat.

People everywhere submitted their sins to the interactive eScapegoat, and G-dcast staff sent some of the most interesting and entertaining to a Twitter feed: @sinfulgoat. As well as to an eScapegoat website, right here.

This year, the eScapegoat program has gotten much larger, and, paradoxically, much more personal. How much more personal? Personal to the point where

Congregation B'nai Israel
 is proudly providing its very own eScapegoat
for the entire Abq Jewish community.
And we get to display our own list of sins!

*No actual Halachic atonement implied

Beginning on Rosh Hodesh Elul (Tuesday August 26 and Wednesday August 27), B'nai Israel's eScapegoat will roaming the Internet collecting sins before Yom Kippur.

To which Abq Jew can only add

Don't atone today! Atone next week!
With the B'nai Israel eScapegoat!

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