Virtual eScapegoat Lets Jews Atone Online

e-scapegoatDigital developments are lessening reliance on traditional architecture. The internet enables us to dine in “restaurants” and sleep in “hotels” that are actually ordinary people’s homes. Our retail therapy is increasingly conducted online in virtual stores. And now a nutty little website is muscling out conventional places of worship.

The new website eScapegoat offers Jews a year-round opportunity to atone online, a digital shortcut to redemption.

The website went live before this year’s Yom Kippur, also called The Day of Atonement. Jews traditionally observe the holiday with fasting and intensive prayer, often spending much of the day in synagogue services focused on themes of repentance.

The eScapegoat offers provides this snappy synopsis of the holy day:

In biblical times, Israelites atoned with sacrifices. Once a year, on what we now call Yom Kippur, the High Priest took two goats. He sacrificed one and then he laid his hands on the other, transferring the community’s sins onto it. Then, he sent the Scapegoat off into the wilderness. From the goats’ perspective, neither path ended well.

eScapegoatCreated by G-dcast, a media company devoted to raising literacy in Jewish history (“tuck into the torah”, they urge), the eScapegoat is a way to anonymously admit to wrongdoing. You don’t have to be Jewish to use it, though a good portion of the sins that show up on the site’s Twitter feed (#Sinfulgoat) relate to Judaism.

“Our hope is that we not only got you to laugh, but also helped you push your own goat towards the desert,” say the site’s creators.

Know someone with sins? Send them eScapegoat. We bet this will be popular just before Yom Kippur, the holiday that passed just a few weeks ago.

Images from the eScapegoat website

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