Last night at sundown one of the holiest days in the Jewish calendar began.
It’s a day filled with serious faces and repenting.
It’s also a day (or more aptly put a process) to which I look forward all year.
I readily admit I’m not the most religious of women.
I claim I’m a cultural Jew, but even that declaration can be a stretch at times.
I intend to celebrate holidays “culturally,” but lacking cooking prowess (what’s more part of culture than food?) and not being a foodie I frequent the local kosher grocery and my last foray into homemade hamantashen was a disaster
Poor kitchen skills aside, the Sabbath is very important to my family.
We unplug from technology, recite traditional Shabbat prayers and remain present and family-focused for the remainder of the evening.
I look forward to Shabbat starting Monday morning in the same manner I long for next Yom Kippur immediately after the day’s fast is broken.
Yom Kippur translated means Day of Atonement.
We go to synagogue.
We pray and murmur offerings of apology for wrong doings the previous 365 days.
We are forgiven.
(that’s the short version–but it gives you the gist)
There is, however, a catch.
For 24 hours we are offered an opportunity to make amends to G-d, but our Yom Kippur prayers do not “cover” sins/wrong doings against people.
This, because I am nothing if not a misfit, is my favorite part of Yom Kippur.
We’re instructed, in order to be ‘written in the book of life,’ we must seek reconciliation with others and right any offenses.
All this straightening up & flying right needed to be completed before sundown last night.
This year I’m less busy atoning than in years past.
That said, I seized yesterday’s opportunity to reflect on who I am and think honestly about whom Ive slighted.
I reached out, apologized and asked forgiveness.
It’s an uncomfortable process, but serves as a yearly reminder we choose of what kind of person we want to be.
I make mistakes, I wander off my path (just as with healthy living!), I’m never as far from the person I aspire to be as my very next action.
For the religious Jew Yom Kippur represents a spiritual rebirth of sorts.
For this cultural Jew it represents an overall opportunity for cleansing and rebirth.
On this Yom Kippur I am grateful.
On this Yom Kippur I am reflecting.
On this Yom Kippur, almost more than any other, I am ready and eager for repentance and rebirth.
To my Jewish readers: May you be written in the book of life.
To my non-Jewish readers: thank you for indulging my religious ramblings and serendipitous tie-in with our endeavors in healthy living.