Friday, October 7, 2011

Yom Kippur

I've dipped my apples in honey for a sweet new year. Then I threw bread into the river to cast off all that nasty accumulated sin. Now tonight, another leg of the journey - the Kol Nidre service. All Vows. This time we stand, beat our chest and renounce all - and I mean all the vows one could ever think of.
Here's a text of the prayer. As you can see nothing is left to the imagination.
It looks long and tedious and for most people over the top. It's easy to smugly sniff, " I haven't committed THAT sin and never would. And granted that's probably true. And it's also easy to say, " and besides, Yeshua(Jesus) already forgave me and I can come to Him any time I want. And that's true too. But sometimes it takes a little prompt to fire up the remembrance. Sometimes we do things that we justify as "their fault" or "it was really nothing at all".
I suppose the whole process could be viewed as a spiritual Mayo Clinic. That complete physical that we all dread. The one where they leave no place untouched and sometimes it's quite uncomfortable, what with the poking and prodding. And we dread when we hear that phrase, "how long have you had this?" Especially when we didn't know we had "this" in the first place.
Or, "oh that...I just thought it was a...(list of nonthreatening excuses).
There's something quite impowering and freeing when we all stand together beating our chest about the same thing. Very private in a public sort of way. Here we are confessing some pretty ugly stuff and right next to you, Mr or Miss perfect is doing the same thing. Lets face it, we're all a pretty guilty bunch and we need to stand in our communities and agree that we all need help. We all need forgiveness. All of us. Together. It's when we try to do it alone that we get in trouble.
And so tonight I'll stand with my community, unified. Tomorrow I'll fast with my community - stomachs growling - together.
More about that feeling of forgiveness and cleansing and a full stomach in a few days.

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