A Realistic Yom Kippur Post

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This is a realistic post, not a shiny glamorous “Wishing you all a meaningful Yom Kippur” post, thought I do. Really.

Yom Kippur becomes more and more meaningful as we mature. To me, it is a day I have come to yearn for, to crave, I am itching for it. I am itching to take a break, a step back, from this race. From the constant movement towards, with all of my plans and goals and the silly life that I pretend I have control over. And for one day – just to be.

I think this year’s Rosh Hashanah caught me unprepared, as I was so caught up in many things that took a toll on me emotionally, personally and professionally. It’s a lot to shoulder, on your own. And existentially, in a sense, we are on our own. The internal struggle cannot be done by someone else. It is Rilke’s solitude that makes us strong.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

But Rosh Hashana and in essence Teshuva is not about the future per se, but about the totality of who we are. It is just as much about the past as it is about the future. Not about repenting, but about rearranging the past and how I relate to it, and how it relates to who I see myself being and becoming.

As hard as Rosh Hashana was for me this year, even while in peaceful and suburban Silver Spring Maryland, I emerged from it with a profound sense of “everything is waiting for you”, in the words of David Whyte. I’m sort of in limbo now, but a lot of good things are about to happen, I can feel it like electricity in my veins.

I am meeting the right people, and the right people in your life will value who you are. And those who break your heart – also open your eyes. It is both painful and comforting.

But Yom Kippur. Now that is about Being. It is about who I am ultimately, if I could only speak to my present, dimensionally-challenged self, reassuringly. To comfort me that all of the pain and the struggle was worth it, and to keep moving forward, to never give up.

Yom Kippur is about love. It is about God saying “let me love you”, even though we are so far from ready, so concerned with the wrong things, and we forget about it. It’s the day in which God says “let me help you see. Let me rinse you off all of the grit and grime, so you can shine again”.

With trepidation, I come to this Yom Kippur with deep hope. With deep desire to be who I am truly meant to be, and who I ultimately will become, and for a day, to live as if I am there. 

I want to remember who I am, why I am doing what I do, and to never lose sight of where I am going.

Open your eyes.

I wish you all a meaningful Yom Kippur. 

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