If atoning before Yom Kippur really gets your goat, a newly launched online tool might be just what you need.
The eScapegoat invites users to write about their sins in no more than 120 characters, acting as a modern-day version of the scapegoat set loose into the desert by Israelites. As the website puts it, it is: “Like in Bible times, only nerdier!”
The input process displays examples of confessions already submitted, and a sidebar explains why Jews atone for their sins, and the symbolic role of a goat in ancient times.
Favourite submissions are then tweeted by @SinfulGoat. These range from “I ate a dessert that wasn’t kosher” to “I fancy Justin Bieber and I’m a grown woman”.
EScapegoat is the creation of New York website G-dcast, which describes itself as a “company dedicated to raising basic Jewish literacy”. The site has dozens of short, animated videos, explaining all of the Torah portions as well as Jewish holidays and traditions.
Rabbi Paul Freedman, of Radlett and Bushey Reform Synagogue, said: “This is a brilliant innovation. Atonement is a serious business but that doesn’t mean we can’t approach it with humour."