A message for all on the eve of the day of Atonement

The prophet Yona (Jonah) did not believe in redemption for the wicked. When God ordered him to go to the people of Nineve, he disobeyed. What would be the point? He would deliver his prophesy of their destruction, they would repent and God with His forgiveness would grant them a reprieve. In Yona’s opinion that was a mockery of prophesy and of justice. He would rather die. Of course, when he was swallowed by the fish Yona had no compunction to cry out to God to be saved. However Yona would have said that was hardly the same thing. He would have explained that he wasn’t evil but a good person deserving of God’s compassion.

In the end of the story the people of Nineve do repent and are saved. The people of Nineve are pagans. The story reinforces that there is one God and He is the God of all people. The story also teaches us of God’s compassion and the power of redemption. However it is a story about the redemption of men for sins against God. Many of our sins in daily life are sins against our fellow man. We must ask redemption for those sins not from God but from the person we have sinned against. Only we can forgive those sins that are made against us. However who are we to refuse to forgive a sin made by someone against us when God is willing to forgive sins made by man[FONT=“Times New Roman”] against Him?[/FONT]

What a lovely thought.

Eastern Catholics and Orthodox have a custom, called ‘Forgiveness Sunday’, where they both seek forgiveness from those against whom they have sinned during the previous year, and extend that same forgiveness towards those who have sinned against them.

True it is that we should seek forgiveness from our fellow man as well as from God.

In that vein I, a poor sinner, ask forgiveness of any here who I may have offended, and in turn forgive with my whole heart any who have offended me.

Maybe it is another topic, but I always wonder why Catholics confess their sins to priests! Don’t they know that God sees and hears them everywhere, and all they have to do is to seek forgiveness directly to God without putting mediators between themselves and God.

May God guide us all to the right path

Why do Muslims go through formal religious ceremonies of marriage?

Doesn’t God see and hear the couple, know their hearts and their commitment to each other, without any religious official having to mediate between them and God in order for it to be a true marriage?

This is totally different. In marriage, there are rights and duties for a man and a woman. A woman has to get her dowry, and a man must offer her good life. People have to know that these two persons are married so they don’t have bad thoughts about them. If marriage was by heart, it wont be different than committing adultery !! Also, the couples may believe in their heart that they are married just to sleep together, and then they will believe in their hearts that they are divorced and they will be! Is this a game or what!!

I don’t know what my question has to do with marriage though!! When you confess your sins to God, you don’t lose anything, do you?

God wants us to confess to Him because He has all the power to forgive your sins, not that priest. How do you think your sins will be forgiven while you are seeking forgiveness from a man who himself commits sins!!!

Btw, why are you referring to Islam, don’t you have an answer to my question?

It’s tradition! It’s part of the Catholic religion.

In any case it is good to forgive people and to be forgiven as we always pray in the Lord’s Prayer. We know that God ultimately is the One who forgives.

If I make a contract or agreement in any other situation - an agreement, for example to buy some jewellery from a store - often no-one will know except me and the salesperson in the store, the one I make the agreement with.

There are rights and duties in that situation as well, they can’t sell me fake diamonds pretending that they are real, for example. Or if I pay with a cheque that bounces the store can ask for the jewellery back. But we don’t need public knowledge of the contract to make it enforceable.

If I wear the jewellery in public and tell people I bought it, they don’t automatically have bad thoughts about me because they didn’t see me buying it. They don’t automatically assume that I stole it or anything. And why should they not take my word that I’m married, if they take my word on other things - like that I own the jewellery I say I own?

So there’s no reason why people need public ceremonies of any kind. More particularly, which was my main point, they don’t need marriage ceremonies to involve ***religious ***ministers. Why not just gather the families together and contract the marriage between the families without involving priest or mufti or mullah or whoever?

And it’s entirely relevant. Muslims use sinful men - religious ministers - as mediators for God, to invoke His blessing on their marriages. I presume you wouldn’t think a marriage was invalid if the religious minister celebrating it was proven to be a sinner in some way, afterward?

By the way, I have to laugh at your mention of divorce - this has been known to be achieved in Islam simply by a husband saying ‘I divorce you’ three times to his wife! Even though witnesses are required, it still must be the easiest divorce method, civil or religious, that I’ve ever heard of.

Point being, and it is senseless to deny this, Muslims do use their religious ministers as mediators with God in relation to marriage. Unless I’m wrong, you wouldn’t consider it a true marriage unless it was celebrated in front of your minister, no? Nor would you presume, on my understanding, that the marriage was invalid if the celebrant was shown to be a sinner? So for you God’s blessing on the marriage works through the OFFICE of the minister, not their personal virtue or sinlessness.

So it is with us and confession. We do confess to God, of course - the prayer we pray starts ‘Oh my God (not ‘oh my priest’) I am sorry for my sins …’ and the priest says ‘I absolve you from your sins IN THE NAME OF (God) Father, Son and Holy Spirit’, not ‘I absolve you on my own authority’ or ‘because of my own sinlessness’. But God’s power to forgive sins can and does work through the office of the priest, just as his power to bless Muslim marriages works through the office of the religious celebrant.

Take the priest thing to another thread.

I enjoy the Jonah story very much. Thanks for posting it :slight_smile:

Sorry :blush: I don’t have that much more to add, really.

Just don’t fall for off-topic posts again :wink:

שַׁבָּת שָׁלוֹם chosen people.
[Is there a different greeting for the sabbath during Yom Kippur?]

It’s only recently that I read the distinction, in terms of asking Hashem
for forgiveness of those moments when His Torah was not kept,
and asking the one whom I have offended for forgiveness. This
makes perfect sense, I think. Am I understanding this correctly?


ה חָטָאנוּ וְעָוִינוּ, והרשענו (הִרְשַׁעְנוּ) וּמָרָדְנוּ; וְסוֹר מִמִּצְו‍ֹתֶךָ, וּמִמִּשְׁפָּטֶיךָ. 5

we have sinned, and have dealt iniquitously, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, and have turned aside from Thy commandments and from Thine ordinances;

ו וְלֹא שָׁמַעְנוּ, אֶל-עֲבָדֶיךָ הַנְּבִיאִים, אֲשֶׁר דִּבְּרוּ בְּשִׁמְךָ, אֶל-מְלָכֵינוּ שָׂרֵינוּ וַאֲבֹתֵינוּ–וְאֶל, כָּל-עַם הָאָרֶץ. 6

neither have we hearkened unto Thy servants the prophets, that spoke in Thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
ז לְךָ אֲדֹנָי הַצְּדָקָה, וְלָנוּ בֹּשֶׁת הַפָּנִים כַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה; לְאִישׁ יְהוּדָה, וּלְיֹשְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלִַם, וּלְכָל-יִשְׂרָאֵל הַקְּרֹבִים

וְהָרְחֹקִים בְּכָל-הָאֲרָצוֹת אֲשֶׁר הִדַּחְתָּם שָׁם, בְּמַעֲלָם אֲשֶׁר מָעֲלוּ-בָךְ. 7

Unto Thee, O Lord, belongeth righteousness, but unto us confusion of face, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither Thou hast driven them, because they dealt treacherously with Thee.

ח יְהוָה, לָנוּ בֹּשֶׁת הַפָּנִים, לִמְלָכֵינוּ לְשָׂרֵינוּ, וְלַאֲבֹתֵינוּ: אֲשֶׁר חָטָאנוּ, לָךְ. 8

O LORD, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against Thee.

ט לַאדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ, הָרַחֲמִים וְהַסְּלִחוֹת: כִּי מָרַדְנוּ, בּוֹ. 9

To the Lord our God belong compassions and forgivenesses; for we have rebelled against Him;

י וְלֹא שָׁמַעְנוּ, בְּקוֹל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ–לָלֶכֶת בְּתוֹרֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר נָתַן לְפָנֵינוּ, בְּיַד עֲבָדָיו הַנְּבִיאִים. 10

neither have we hearkened to the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets.


There are two special things about Judaism, the basis of the covenant. The first was the conceptualization of a single all powerful God divorced of animate or inanimate form.

The second thing deals specifically with your question. Until Judaism, religions dealt exclusively with man’s relationship to his god. Laws existed dealing with man’s relationship to man but they were a separate non divine entity from religion. The Torah not only made these laws dealing with man’s relationship to man part of Judaism they receive the status of a commandment of God. If one steals from his neighbour that person has committed an offense both against God and against his fellow man. It is not enough to ask forgiveness from God. One must also seek forgiveness from the injured party. Likewise, we are all made in God’s image so when a man commits an offense against his fellow man he also commits an offense against God.

The rules of marriage in Islam are the acceptance of the woman’s father or guardian, the acceptance of both the man and the woman who want to get married, and having two witnesses for the marriage. Of course, the man has to be Muslim because a woman can’t marry a non Muslim man. Moreover, Prophet Muhammad taught us that it is better to make a party for marriage and invite people so that they know about it.

A religious person comes to make sure that all the rules are applied based on the Islamic law.

Nowadays, couples have to get married in courts so that their marriages are documented. Also, they have to bring a paper from the hospital that says that they can get married.

These are the procedures that people did not do in the past but they are necessary nowadays.

But still, I don’t understand why would you confess your sins to a priest and not God. What if you commit sins and didn’t have time to go to the church, or you are not able to go? You might die before confessing and so you will not be forgiven!! God wants us to believe that He alone can forgive sins and therefore we should seek Him alone, and we should not believe that confessing to priests is the way to forgiveness.

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