By Cantor Anthony Weiner
The days leading up to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, always carry a special intensity. As one who leads the services in the synagogue on that solemn day, I am acutely aware of the need to address my failings, especially the failings that damage my relationships, the moments when I prioritize titillation or physical gratification over all else. If I am to repair what I have hurt, sincere pursuit of atonement is the only option. And let me tell you, penitence for lust is a serious chick magnet.
There’s an art to penitence for lust as much as there is a procedure. Technically, there are three steps: you separate yourself from the sin, not letting it define you; you experience remorse; and you resolve not to repeat it. But obviously it’s not about going through the motions, much in the way the use of a pickup line, however clever, gets you nowhere if you haven’t cultivated the right attitude, the right verve. In either case, the key is believability. If you can convey sincere regret for your sexual indiscretions, you’re halfway to scoring with hot babes.
The stakes are high on Yom Kippur, but so is the potential. One one hand, you face lasting repercussions for failing to make adequate redress for your offenses. On the other, if you seize this opportunity, you can achieve a closeness with the divine, even an intimacy, that was not possible before. Done with love, repentance can springboard you to a state that you couldn’t have attained without having sinned before. It’s quite the paradox, but girls really, really dig vulnerability and acknowledgement of failure.
Make no mistake, temptation crouches at the door even on this holy day. At the afternoon service we read a section from Leviticus admonishing us not to engage in all manner of illicit sexual encounters, a fitting counterpoint to the finely dressed ladies who flock to the synagogue, wearing white to signify an aspiration toward purity, and looking fine. Mmm hmm. I sure could go for a round or two of exculpatory breast beating, if you know what I mean.
So take it from me. As you recite the penitential passages in your prayer book referring to violations of a sexual nature, do your utmost to make it sincere. Otherwise you’re wasting your time. You won’t achieve atonement, and no hot chick who’s worth it will fall for such a fraudulent display.
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