My local Starbucks has recently been playing Paul McCartney’s cover of the Harold Arlen–Johnny Mercer song “Accentuate the Positive.” According to Wikipedia, the song “was published in 1944. It is sung in the style of a sermon, and explains that accentuating the positive is key to happiness.”
For Jewish people, the Day of Atonement (which begins this Friday at sundown) is the holiest day of the year. It is the day when the books are opened in heaven and God determines who gets their name written in the Book of Life and who doesn’t. It is a day to fast, to contemplate, to pray, to ask forgiveness, to make atonement for wrongs done to others and to God. But what is atonement? And how does one get it?