Saturday, September 18, 2010

Yom Kippur

Back from morning services, opting out of the full day of services, we will go back for the Yikzor service at 5 pm and the break the fast at 6pm. Dad and I are hanging out at our friends apartment in Bozeman, watching the Bobcat's football game for now. Dad will want me to find the Mets game once it's past 2 pm. Jackie and Howie went to meet friends for a light lunch to keep the head aches of fasting at bay. They will bring dad back some lunch, I'm going to try to fast until 6 pm. In the meantime I am sitting with Stan and blogging.

Services last night and this morning were long, but meaningful, full of great music and singing. Kol Nidre sung by Maddy and the cello played by her brother Louis was awesome. Thinking about the meaning of life, the meaning of services, what is the meaning of it all? In listening to the rabbi and trying to come up with my own take on things I came up with this:

it's not so much about coming up with meaning, but it's about getting closer to the holiness of life, the miracle of life, the what puts a smile on your face or better yet, what puts smiles on the faces of everyone around you, what brings us closer to the holy energy at the center of it all...

The rabbi spoke of many things. Yom Kippur is the time for repentance, prayer and charity. But the rabbi says those 3 words are the wrong words and it is actually their opposites that are true. Now if I could only remember what he meant by that. I will try, but I'm sure I will be coloring this in my own way (and I'm sure making some of this stuff up - I've always been good at making stuff up):

Repentance is not about feeling sorry for things you've done, but taking ownership of them, learning from them and improving yourself.

Prayer is not about asking for things, but looking inward, getting closer to the holiness of life, in fact being grateful for what one has. Whenever I find myself praying, I find myself being so grateful for all I have (I have so much to be thankful for!) and simply praying for things to stay the course... to continue to be so blessed in life.

Charity, "Tzadaka" is not about just giving handouts. It's about loving kindness. It's about a responsibility to help others less fortunate than ourselves. Not something you do if you feel like, but something you must do.

Yom Kippur is a time of reflection, a time to think about the things that have missed the mark, missed the target and think about how one can do better next year. It's a time to ask for forgiveness and to forgive. To start fresh, to truly reflect about one's life and to move forward.

Writing this blog right now is a way for me to sort things out, to think about myself, my family, my communities, and my role, my desires. Every year at this time I think about working less, reading and writing more, being a better father, a better husband, a better son, a better employer, and a better person to myself. That's a lot to think about, a lot to sort out and though writing all this helps, sometimes I think just thinking about it, letting it all sink in and resonate deep inside is very important. Sitting at synagogue, reading prayers, partaking in services, let it resonate, let it be, let it resonate, let it be....let it all sort itself out inside without writing it all down...

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