Friday, September 30, 2011
In my own way, I am so Jewish. No I don't attend a temple (though I would go to Temple Micah except it's too far away, completely inaccessible for Capitol Hill residents without cars). I don't know Hebrew at all. Well, ok, maybe a little bit, just a letter or two. My cosmology includes many theories and interpretations that are decidedly NOT Jewish. Still, when the Days of Awe roll around, I always know it, even if I haven't checked a calendar, and I do take part, in my own way.
Yesterday was Rosh Hashana. I ate apple slices dipped in honey, baked a plum cake, listened to Charlie Parker (in lieu of a shofar) and thought about the past year. All day I prayed about what I'm supposed to get straight this year before Yom Kippur. Who have I hurt? What mistakes have I made? To whom do I owe an apology or two? Is there an experience I need to let go of? What can I learn?
Most years, the work of the High Holy Days has a theme. Some years I owe a lot of apologies! Oy vey. Sometimes it's more about letting go of grudges, aka forgiveness. Last year I had to stretch my heart, open up wider than I ever have (internally, I mean) in order to find a place of peace and connection with the divine that I had not previously experienced. It was rigorous and well worth the floppage that preceded the insight.
This year I'm still not clear what I'm supposed to accomplish, though I keep hearing the words "Let there be light!" in the back of my mind. This could be nothing more than a comment on the change in the weather - during September we only saw two or three sunny days. The rest of the month was humid, rainy, and gloomy with a pervasive overcast that finally broke up yesterday.
So, who knows? There are many days of prayer and discovery ahead before the somewhat excruciating rite of passage we call Yom Kippur. "Let there be light" is a rather lovely theme. What that means, if anything, is yet to be revealed.
Have a wonderful Friday. Shabbat Shalom and L'Shana Tovah. Onwards and upwards, oh yeah.