Monday, September 9, 2013

The Days of Awe


These are the Days of Awe. The period between Rosh Hashonah, the Jewish New Year that began last Wednesday evening, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which will start this Friday night. It's a time of reflection, of repentance, of prayer.

The liturgy is full of powerful images. Several times during the 25 hours of the holiday, a time when we fast, we repeat The Al-Chet, the prayer of confession. We recite a long list of sins, asking forgiveness for those we have done knowingly AND unknowingly. We ask God to "pardon us, forgive us, atone for us." But the prayer also tells us how "Teshuvah, Tefilla and Tzedakah," repentance, prayer, and charity are the ways we are forgiven. Simply reciting the words do not give you a metaphorical "free get out of jail card." Words must be accompanied by action. Thought must become deed.

I went to a lecture a few weeks ago, given by the brilliant liturgist Lawrence Hoffman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_A._Hoffman). He urged his audience to move beyond the simple translation of the words we recite. To move beyond the image of God marking in a celestial accounting book, who will live and who will die in the coming year. But instead to focus on the kind of life you will lead in the coming year. If you knew that your time on this earth were to end this year, were you leading the meaningful, thoughtful, loving kind of life you would want?

Whether you are Jewish or not, I think that is a question for each of us, applicable whether it's the Days of Awe or not. It makes us focus on what's important, prioritize how we spend our time, and insures that we keep true to those values we know to be the bedrock of our lives.

May you be inscribed in the Book of Life, with best wishes for a healthy, happy, meaningful new year. 

Marian, the Northern half of Evelyn David

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Evelyn David's Mysteries 

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Brianna Sullivan Mysteries - e-book series
I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
The Dog Days of Summer in Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
The Holiday Spirit(s) of Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Undying Love in Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
A Haunting in Lottawatah - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
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Missing in Lottawatah - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
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The Ghosts of Lottawatah - trade paperback collection of the Brianna e-books
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Zoned for Murder - stand-alone mystery
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2 comments:

  1. May you be inscribed in the Book of Life, Marian!

    This is a key time of reflection for me, ever since I hooked up with a Jewish guy. May you have a sweet and significant year!

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  2. These days strike me as holy, no matter what we're doing. It means I made sure to get a supply of yahrzeit candles to honor my parents, and shed a tear in the process. And, examine my life for what i am doing to make this world a better place. May you have a wonderful New Year, and yes, be inscribed in the Book of life.

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