It was so wonderful to see so many of you on Zoom over Rosh Hashanah. A huge thank you to the ritual committee, all who participated, and especially Eva, who was working the tech through each and every service, making sure we were all on the same page, both literally and figuratively.
As we get ready for Yom Kippur, it is, of course, traditional to look back over our misdeeds of the past year. The liturgy of the day will bring us through confessions of our mistakes time after time throughout the day. This is an important ritual and moment of self-critique.
In recent years, there is an increasing movement to also "confess" the good we have done (you will find such a confession in the pages of our Yom Kippur Machzur (for instance p. 93, or pp. 312 - 313). While this also feels like an important part of our work in this season, for me, it doesn't fit into Yom Kippur (though it may be a good use of this week between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur).
To me, Yom Kippur is not about a balanced assessment of our selves. Instead, it is about the ways we have fallen short. Yom Kippur does not balance the good and the bad, but focuses on the fearful, on the bad of the world. We remember those who died in our lives, or on account of their Judaism. We do not tell the stories of those whose Judaism led them to fulfilled and meaningful lives. I'm not saying it isn't good and worthwhile to focus on the good parts of the world; it just isn't the task of Yom Kippur.
Our task on Yom Kippur is to feel the sense that we have failed in this year, but that, by the end of the day, God has forgiven us, not because of any merit of our own, but through God's grace. That is the power of Yom Kippur. We, who are imperfect, are nonetheless good enough for God. In order to reach the place of being appreciated, we must first feel the unworthiness.
Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, is solemn and joyous, mournful and celebratory. I look forward to spending it on Zoom with all of you this year.
Tuesday: Psalms Study, 4:00 PM (Starting at Psalm 69)
Thursday: Torah Study, 10:00 AM (Haazinu) Friday: Shabbat Service, 7:00 PM Sunday: 4:00PM Children's Service 8:00 PM Kol Nidre Monday (Sept 28) 10:00AM: Intro Service: 11:00 AM Yom Kippur Essentials Service 12:30PM Morning Torah Service 3:00 PM: Yizkor 3:30 PM: Afternoon Torah Service 4:30 PM: Afternoon Service 5:15PM: Avodah Service 5:45PM: Martyrology 6:15PM: Ne'ilah