Friday, 7 October 2011

Results of Poll on: Focus of T'shuvah

In our last poll, we inquired

New Poll: Focus of T'shuvah

Re: T'shuvah etc.What is your main focus - 

A) During the period of the Yamim Noraim?
1) Self-improvement?

2) Forgiveness from God?
3) Both equally?

B) During the rest of the year?
1) Self-improvement?
2) Forgiveness from God?
3) Both equally?

Your Responses (total 6)

A) During the period of the Yamim Noraim
Choice 1 - 50%  (3)
Choice 2 - 17%  (1)
Choice 3 - 33%  (2)

B) During the rest of the year?

Choice 1 - 50%  60%*  (3)
Choice 2 - 00%  (0)
Choice 3 - 33%   40%* (2)     * of the 5 responses to part B

Rabbi Hecht
The poll wished to collect opinions on two matters: (a) the distinction for individuals between the process of teshuva during the Yomim Noraim and that during the rest of the year, and (b) the primary focus, whether self improvement or requesting Divine forgiveness.

On the surface, in regard to the first matter, it would seem that there is people do not maintain any distinction between the Yomin Noraim and the rest of the year. The only numerical difference between the two would seem to be within choice 2 where it was chosen in A but not in B. That could be because one, perhaps, simply didn't see the second part of the poll, leaving us to conclude that people really do not see a distinction. The fact is, though, that if one monitor the voting as it occurred, one would have seen that people did make different choices for A and B. It just worked out that the final numbers were the same but there were individuals who chose differently between the time periods. Interestingly, this would actually mean that there are people who see a difference but the difference goes either way: some focus more on Divine forgiveness during the Yomim Noraim and some less. I think it would be an interesting study to find out how people determine what we may term a contradictory distinction.
It would seem obvious, though, that the overall prime focus in on self improvement with most stating that explicitly and the largest minority group only adding "forgiveness from God" as a co-focus. This, perhaps, should be expected for the action orientation of Torah does seem to declare that there is a goal for humanity in growth. We do not wish to only relate to God; we wish to relate to God through becoming better.

No comments: