G-dcast’s cartoon goat app can help cast away sins
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There’s a goat roaming the Internet and collecting sins before Yom Kippur — and then casting them aside.
Wipe that sheepish grin off your face. It’s true!
G-dcast has launched a new animated Web app called eScapegoat, where, in a lighthearted manner, people can anonymously enter their sins — up to 120 characters allowed — and atone with the help of a cartoon goat.
“The scapegoat story is one of the wildest, weirdest stories we have in the Bible. We wanted to share it with everyone,” said Sarah Lefton, executive director of the S.F.-based nonprofit. “Like everything we do, it’s ultimately about raising basic Jewish literacy, but it’s pretty fun, no matter how tame or edgy your sins may be.”
To let people know about the app, G-dcast has arranged events in San Francisco where they can pet live goats or pose for pictures, and receive goat-themed giveaway items such as bells, bags and stickers.
On Saturday, Aug. 17, Moishe House at 1250 Fell St. will host an event featuring goat cheese, beer, music and, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., live goats. The event is free and begins at 8 p.m.
On Monday, Aug. 19, the goats will move on to the SoMa StrEAT Food Park at 428-11th St. The event from 6 to 9 p.m. also will include discounts at the Old World Food Truck, which sells Jewish delicacies.
Wrapping things up will be two events that will feature giveaways and a person in a goat costume: 1 to 3 p.m. Sept. 3 at Justin Herman Plaza, and noon to 3 p.m. Sept. 8 in Dolores Park.
According to Lefton, the app was inspired by the atonement ritual described in the Book of Leviticus, in which a goat was symbolically burdened with the sins of the Israelites before being sent off into the wilderness.
While much of G-dcast’s work has focused on children and parents, the atonement app is aimed at young adults.
“Like our dozens of short films, apps and teachers’ guides, this app is about finding quirky but ultimately profound paths into Judaism,” Lefton said. “We are using humor and, well, farm animals, to show people the crazy brilliant wisdom of our ancient tradition.”
Over time, G-dcast will aggregate thousands of sins from the app and share them anonymously with the online community. Yom Kippur begins at sundown Sept. 13. — j. staff
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