Oakland-based digital animator Sarah Lefton came up with the idea of an electronic app to record people’s sins online on Yom Kippur while reading through a Biblical story in her prayer book, according to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
Also known as Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur is the most important of Jewish religious holidays. It is observed on the 10th day of the lunar month of Tishri (in the course of September and October).
Yom Kippur revolves around repentance and atonement. Jewish people traditionally observe this holy day with an approximate 25-hour period of fasting, confession of sins and prayers.
Lefton’s inspiration came from the third book of the Hebrew Bible, The Book Of Leviticus, which explains how the high priest would perform a ritual of listening to ancient Israelites confessions on Yom Kippur to rid them of their sins. A goat was later sacrificed in the name of God while another one , known as the original ‘scapegoat,’ was sent out into the wild, bearing the burden of sinful confessions.
“To me the story was so wild and interesting,” Lefton told WSJ. “I thought, 'wouldn't it be cool if there was this Internet scapegoat you could just send around and upload your sins?'”
The app known as ‘eScapegoat’ was launched on August 9 this year. Here’s how it works:
Enter your age first. It will lead you to the back-story, explaining the ritual from the Book of Leviticus.
After reading about the background of the ritual, you will have an option of submitting your confessions in 120 characters on an animated goat via text or email.
When you press submit, a goat will be pushed off a cliff by a priest, as told by the story.
The site’s got more than 15,000 users and it also has its own Twitter account.
Do you plan to use eScapegoat? You can share your answers in the comments section below.