Archive for October, 2011

Occupy Judaism

October 31, 2011


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October 9, 2011

…I agonized over Yom Kippur this year.  Personally.  Professionally.

This blog hit a record number of hits in a single day today with 82 views.  I was trained as a qualitative researcher so numbers are not usually a driving factor in the work I do.  However, I’ll take this as hard evidence that I did the right thing blogging last night and emailing OWUJews today.


For the sin which we have committed by blogging on Yom Kippur…

October 8, 2011

….and for the sin which we have committed by not blogging more the rest of the year.

I’m not supposed to be using the computer/working on Yom Kippur, but somehow this seems like the most fitting way to mark the holiday at the moment.  My husband worked late tonight.  The baby didn’t nap.  Lots of excuses, but the bottom line is simply, I’m not at Kol Nidre services (where I should be) right now.

It seems like so many of my sins come down to time.

For the sin which we have committed by not walking our dogs regularly.

And for the sin which we have committed by not listening to our children’s stream of consciousness commentary on the world as they see it because we are multitasking making dinner/checking email for work/planning for a night out.

This year, it seemed lots of students were also finding it hard to make time for Yom Kippur.

“Yom Kippur is not exactly at the best time right now.  I have a lot to do this weekend.”

“I have a game on Saturday.  Do you think it would be okay if I fasted on Sunday instead?”

What are we missing by not making the time, for not taking the time?

I am already feeling sorry that I didn’t plan ahead, that I didn’t make the time, take the time, to stop, rest, and reflect.  We are so fortunate to have this day when we are invited, like Shabbat, to pause and consider the year gone by and the year to come.  We all know High Holiday Jews who come out of the woodwork only on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur and then return to hiding the rest of the year.  What draws them out of their routines?

Perhaps it’s because being with other Jews for the holiday provides us with a sense of communion and belonging.  Personally I feel like this is much more important in the Midwest than it was for me in the Northeast, where there were so many Jews around all the time.  And still, here I am at home with my family and Bob Dylan (who was Jewish, afterall, so that counts for something, right?).

For the sin we have committed by not feeling moved when we go to temple;

And the sin we have committed by not being moved to go.  

It always feels too late – too late to send New Year’s cards, too late to meaningfully explain the holidays to my step-children, too late to reflect as completely as I would like.  So this Yom Kippur, I am going to spend some time contemplating how to prepare for next Yom Kippur.

For all these, God of pardon, pardon us, forgive us, atone for us.