Saturday, September 18, 2010

Reflections on Yom Kippur

I found my own Yom Kippur message right in my back yard..well, front yard. The rosebushes belonging to the owners looked pretty dead but suddenly this one had the courage to bloom a beautiful rose in spite of the dead branches. So..... if the rose can do it, so, i guess, can we.

Yom Kippur is really nice in a lot of's sooo traffic, kids on bikes and scooters. Erev Yom Kippur, after the meal before the Fast, the City becomes still. Really still. It's quite amazing the difference. Many people go to the synagogue where the Kol Nidre and other traditional liturgy is sung. The tradition for those who observe is to dress in white (symbolizing purity and forgiveness (cleansed white as snow). With no autos or buses, the streets fill with people, many whom are dressed in white.

Last night I walked through my neighborhood and over to Rh.Yochanan ben Zakai where the street was filled with people, strolling in the quiet evening - children on bikes and scooters zipping between individuals, just missing the baby carriages. It was almost midnight and the atmosphere was peaceful and happy and full of community. And that what Yom Kippur should be - a happy day...after all, we are forgiven and given another chance, nachon? !!

I don't attend the services, but walking through the neighborhood, which is filled with many many beit knesset, one can hear the liturgy...and everyone in the neighborhood, whether you have gone to the services or not, drops by the beit knesset at the end of the day - to hear the blowing of the shofar. The shofar mystically signifies that the Divine Presence, which has been near during the 10 days between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur, is now leaving. Practically speaking, the shofar signifies the end of the Fast, the end of the 10 days and Yom Kippur, and the Book of Life is now sealed for another year.

Kind of nice..... and now we could go eat!!

Before the evening finished, the sounds and sights of succah building (for upcoming Sukkot) were echoing through the streets...even, to my great dismay, someone cutting all the fronds of a beautiful palm tree near my terrace steps...for their succa of course.

Ah, yes, Yom Kippur barely closed it's door and we are back to this, huh? ....taking liberty with the law...

Back to reality.....and traffic.


  1. I love walking through your experiences with you. The solitary rose is outstanding in its beauty!