Forgive Yourself

by Tamar Caspi under Judaism

This Yom Kippur, forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for not meeting the goals you intended to meet when you set them this time last year. You know what I’m talking about: you said you would be in a serious relationship, or in the job of your dreams, or moved out of your parent’s house, or lost that weight, or cleaned out your closet and garage and attic.

If you succeeded in accomplishing one of those things, then bravo to you! If you succeeded in accomplishing more than one of your goals, then you’re a rock star. But, if life got in the way of you completing even one, well, that happens. Cut yourself some slack. As long as you wholeheartedly put forth the effort and are at least on your way towards accomplishing your goals… then be happy with your year and don’t be too hard on yourself for not getting further. Life happens and we need to forgive ourselves when it doesn’t go the way we planned.

One of the most important people to ask forgiveness from on Yom Kippur is yourself, and one of the most difficult people to forgive is yourself. Try it.

Start New, Start Now

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Judaism,Relationships,Single Life

I believe in any excuse to commit to bettering yourself — whether it be January 1st or the Jewish New Year, the start of the school year or your birthday — find any excuse to start being a better you now.

The High Holy Days are a great time to do so since you get the opportunity to repent and redeem yourself. When you’re reading the alphabet of sins, and are able to unfortunately connect with a few of them (admit it, it’s way more than just a few!), then make a promise to yourself to be better starting now.

Stop judging prospects based on their bad photos or typos, stop speaking badly about others and gossiping about your dates or others in the community, stop lying and deceiving others whether in your profile or in person. And of course there are so many more ways to become a better person, don’t wait for December 31st… start now!

Every Man for Himself?

by Aaron under JBloggers,Relationships,Single Life,Success Stories

This Yom Kippur, I had the pleasure of driving to synagogue with a good friend, and we decided to discuss our dating woes along the way. More than anything though we laughed and discussed funny date stories (I told him my worst sin of the year in my mind involved a Six Flags date that never happened, and he assured me it was probably a light year for sinning if that was the case), but we did reach a serious discussion at one point: when single, do we need to help friends find someone, or should we just look out for ourselves first?

My friend compared the situation to unemployment: you don’t help someone else find a job until you have one. But really, my fundamental problem is that not every job is for every person. If I found a job engineering airplanes, I wouldn’t tell an out-of-work plumber about it. Not everyone fits every job, and, in the same regard, not everyone fits every person. I mean, anyone can get along, but like a good job, longevity comes out of a good fit.

One of my favorite stories from synagogue growing up involves heaven and hell. In hell, there is food spread out everywhere and the people have giant spoons for hands. However, the people are starving because they can’t properly bend their elbows to eat the food with their long spoons. Everyone is miserable. It’s the same situation in heaven, but instead of starving, they feed each other… and everyone is happy. It always stuck with me as a way of understanding how we’re supposed to look out for each other, even in dating.

The question came to my mind again last Saturday night while I spent time with two friends of mine who are engaged to be married in May. They are a prime example of someone helping to set them up (this guy!). The woman in the relationship is a friend, and an ex of another close friend, the guy is a close friend who is Jewish but had never really been part of a Jewish community. They’re the best match I’ve ever seen. And we agreed, sometimes it’s okay to not be selfish, and maybe there’s someone who is a better fit for the position than you.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still primarily looking for myself. But it can be tiring just looking for the right person for you, and sometimes it can be healthy to help someone else find what they’re looking for. I know I’m looking for my friends, just as I’m looking for me, and I hope that anyone in my social circle keeps me in mind when they meet nice Jewish girls, too.

Are You a Single Sinner?

by Tamar Caspi under Judaism,Online Dating

Dating can bring out the worst in you, but luckily Yom Kippur gives us the opportunity to atone for our sins, decide not to act or think such a way again, and start anew.

What kind of sins are singles guilty of?

  1. Being judgmental for one — deciding that a guy or gal isn’t for us because of their looks or their job or their friends.
  2. Talking badly about others –whether it’s people you went on dates with or badmouthing someone to bond with a date.
  3. Lying — saying you are not what you are to impress someone (more successful, more popular, younger), or making something up to get out of a bad date.
  4. And of course there’s the drinking and sex that comes with dating.

This year, make a commitment to withhold judgment, to be honest, and to not allow dating to get the best of you.


by JeremySpoke under JFacts,Judaism

During this time of year, a lot of people, especially on Facebook, will post things like, ‘I’m sorry to anyone I’ve wronged this past year’ as if all you have to do is apologize for being horrible once a year and it absolves you of every awful thing you’ve done for the past twelve months. How about this. Just don’t be an asshole all the time, and if you do something bad to someone else, apologize immediately after, instead of waiting for a holiday.

Just be a good person as much as you can. You think that meter maid you emotionally crippled by yelling at three months ago will suddenly feel better after you spend a day not eating? No, she will still spend that day crying herself to sleep because of her completely thankless job having to deal with people like you all the time. Why torture yourself simply because you’ve spent the year torturing others? Be nice all the time, and eat whatever you feel like. I don’t know if I’m allowed to write this on JDate, but fasting for the purpose of penance has always seemed somewhat counter intuitive to me.

Okay, so maybe this is all just a subconscious excuse for me to not have to fast today. Maybe I’m just trying to justify my non-adherence to Judaism and lack of willpower. Either way, I still believe that being a good person outweighs a ritual that will absolve you of your sins. Fasting on Yom Kippur is actually a wonderful tradition that shows both one’s humility and adherence to their Jewish heritage. It is a nice gesture that helps show the good side of humanity. I just think that people should also focus on being good all the time.

Also, if you’ve wronged someone over the past year, don’t leave some generic apology on Facebook. Apologize to that specific person. If a person you’ve wronged sees that message, they will just get angrier that it wasn’t directed only towards them, and then the meter maid, who for some reason is Facebook friends with you, will end up writing you even more tickets.

Koufax Benches Himself for Yom Kippur

by JewishFactFinder under JFacts

by Rafael Deras

by Rafael Deras

On October 6, 1965, the Los Angeles Dodgers were in Minnesota taking on the Twins in game one of the World Series. Scheduled to take the mound for the Dodgers was their ace, Cy Young Award-winner Sandy Koufax. But Koufax, being Jewish, shocked the nation by refusing to pitch in order to observe Yom Kippur, which fell on the same day. This act of courage garnered the respect and admiration of many Jewish Americans and drew criticism from other circles. Suddenly, the holiday of Yom Kippur received widespread attention and Jews everywhere felt a sense of pride for their heritage and had great respect for Sandy Koufax for his commitment to Jewish principle. Koufax was not the first Jewish baseball player to decline playing on Yom Kippur however. Hank Greenberg, the great homerun slugger for the Detroit Tigers, sat out a game while in a tense pennant race in 1934. Yet somehow it is Sandy Koufax who remains the most famous Jewish athlete who wouldn’t compromise his religious values for the game.

A bit more about Sandy Koufax…

Koufax was born Sanford Braun on December 30, 1935 and was raised in Brooklyn, New York. His parents divorced when he was three, so he took the name of his stepfather, Irving Koufax. Sandy excelled on the basketball court as a teenager and played for a team at the local Jewish Community Center. While pitching in high school, Brooklyn Dodgers scout Al Campanis asked Koufax to come to Ebbets Field for a tryout and was amazed saying, “There are two times in my life the hairs on my arms stood up: The first time I saw the Sistine Chapel and the first time I saw Sandy Koufax throw a fastball.”

by doyaandta

by doyaandta

Koufax was soon signed by the Dodgers and took the place of then mediocre relief pitcher and future Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda. From 1955-1960, Koufax was relegated to a small role on the team and posted only modest numbers. After the 1960 season, Koufax began an intense workout schedule and fixed some of the hitches in his delivery. The 1961 season was a breakout year for Koufax and he became an all-star pitcher and broke Christy Mathewson’s National League strikeout record. Koufax would come to dominate baseball over the next five seasons. He won the Cy Young Award three times, pitched three no-hitters (including a perfect game in ‘65) and led the now Los Angeles Dodgers to World Series victories in ’63 and ’65, and a loss in ’66. Plagued by an arthritic left elbow, Koufax was forced into retirement after the 1966 season. Koufax left the game after an incredible season in which he posted a 27-9 record and a 1.73 ERA.

After retirement, Koufax worked as a baseball announcer for NBC for six seasons and was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972. In April 2007, more than four decades after his retirement from baseball, Koufax was the final player chosen in the inaugural Israel Baseball League draft by the Modi’in Miracle. The Miracle’s manager, Art Shamsky, said, “It’s been 41 years between starts for him. If he’s rested and ready to take the mound again, we want him on our team.” Koufax declined to join the Miracle, despite the fact that he would have been working on 14,875 days rest.