September 14, 2006
Promissory Liability, Reliance and the Day of Atonement
Don't miss Ethan Leib's interesting connections between contracts, Cardozo's opinion in Jacob & Youngs v. Kent (a/k/a "The Reading Pipe Case") and the Jewish Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). And, the equally interesting response from Keith Scharfman.
One question I have: why bother to keep your (past or future) promises with god if your fate was already sealed either way 10 days earlier on Rosh Hashanah? Perhaps we are judged by something other than our ability to keep our promises.
Clarification from Jeffrey Lipshaw: Actually, according to the legend, you are inscribed in the Book of Life on Rosh Hashanah, and sealed on Yom Kippur.
Thus, the Unataneh Tokef recites "on Rosh Hashanah it is written, on Yom Kippur it is sealed."
Also, a traditional greeting on Yom Kippur is "g'mar tov" which is short for "may you be sealed well."
[Meredith R. Miller]
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