Until reading this article by Rabbi Yirmiyahu Ullman, I never realized that our Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur holy days in the Hebrew month of Tishrei coincide with Libra, the seventh astrological sign of the zodiac; and Libra's symbol is the balance scales.
The zodiac symbol of the scales is based on the Scales of Justice held by Themis, the Greek personification of divine law and custom.
We now enter into the solemn day of atonement, Yom Kippur.
God will be examining each person.
In the balance are last year's good deeds opposite misdeeds, merits vs. sins.
According to Jewish tradition, next year is also hanging in the balance.
Rabbi Ullman explains it like this:
Each person should think during the entire year, and particularly during the period of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, as if he, his country and people, and the entire world are partially meritorious and partially guilty and that the judgment of all is hanging in the balance. If he commits one sin, he is capable of tipping the scale of transgression for himself and others, causing their destruction and his. Likewise, the performance of just one mitzvah can tip the scale of merit for himself and the entire world, bringing salvation and deliverance for all!Wishing you all a gmar chatima tova, i.e. that in the final reckoning in tomorrow night's final prayer service, God will decide to inscribe us in his Book of Life and then seal the good inscription for the entire new year.
Israel is shutting down. So silent. No one drives. The airport and all public transportation is closed. Broadcasting has stopped.
May we have a painless fast (no food or water for 26 hours).
Now I must do the hard part, shutting down the computer until tomorrow night.
(More posts about Yom Kippur.)