Yom Kippur River

RiverMany of us are laboring mightily through the Yamim Noraim, the Days of Awe. We have contemplated and introspected, thrown our breadcrumbs and heard the shofar. Some of us are thinking about our lives and about people we had wronged. Some of us are making amends. Others are making donations. A few people made resolutions, though one or two did so sheepishly, for they made resolutions last year and it didn’t go so well. A lot of congregants are putting in major volunteer time. Some have gotten involved when mostly they don’t. A handful who always volunteer, are volunteering even more. Thank you, everyone. There are others who could pitch in but haven’t yet. We thank these people in advance. Some people have been moved by music, some by words, some by silence, and still others by their own associations. Some people have been made thoughtful. Others are being moved out of their thinking place and into other places. Some friends, lovers, partners, and spouses are reconciling, some achieving deeper honesty. Some are missing that particular opportunity, but there is still today and tomorrow, don’t anyone forget that. Many children are learning, singing, and praying. Some will make cards telling God or their parents they are sorry. A couple kids feel sorry, though they haven’t made cards. Many people have gotten teary-eyed and some have cried, though not all in the same place and a few of us more than once. Others hear the names of their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters read at Yizkor, and that will take them to a different place as well. A handful will come only for that. Another handful will prostrate themselves during the Great Aleinu, as others watch and pray. Some of those watching will feel strangely, and a few will wish they were prostrating too, though the idea seems absurd and archaic. (There is always next year.) Three men and two women (a rough estimate) will vow to totally change their lives. A dozen people (another estimate) will map out specific ways they would improve their character and many more than that their relationships. Some mother and/or father are thinking hard about how to ask a child’s forgiveness. Some children are too angry to acknowledge when they hear the apology, though they will. Very deep inside, they will be relieved. A handful of people are praying for their lives, others for their jobs, homes, health, and loved ones. All of our prayers are rising up with theirs.
Yom Kippur is like a wide river. We hold hands, jump in together, and remain submerged, holding our breath (or perhaps breathing water). Then we surface together, gasping, and swim for Sukkot. So the year begins.
Remember to bring your fins.

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