The Season of Forgiveness

The ten days in between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are referred to as the Yamim Nora'im, the Days of Awe, the season of atonement and forgiveness. A hefty measure of humility and vulnerability are required during this time, in order to acknowledge our transgressions to ourselves, to God, and to those we have hurt. 

The veil of ego must be torn open to reveal our hidden and true essence, and we have to name it, claim it and ask for forgiveness.  Forgiveness is not a cavalier rubber stamp of vindication; it is a thoughtful, thorough return to balance–at its best, a return to love.

May Sarton describes this beautifully in the following poem:

Unison Benediction


Return to the most human,

nothing less will nourish the torn spirit,

the bewildered heart,

the angry mind:

and from the ultimate duress,

pierced with the breath of anguish,

speak of love.


Return, return to the deep sources,

nothing less will teach the stiff hands a new way to serve,

to carve into our lives the forms of tenderness

and still that ancient necessary pain preserve.


Return to the most human,

nothing less will teach the angry spirit,

the bewildered heart;

the torn mind,

to accept the whole of its duress,

and pierced with anguish…

at last, act for love.


~ May Sarton ~

 (Collected Poems 1930-1993)