As fulfilling as it was to engage in Shavuot programs, a lot weighs on me. With COVID-19 continuing to ravage Black communities and racist violence all over the news, I almost feel like it’s Yom Kippur instead – the time when Jews are supposed to be most aware of their own mortality.
This week, I tell a friend I’d love to chat but actually I have to run Yom Kippur services are starting soon and I’ve got to repent for my sins before the gates are closed. She laughs. “Well, you’re gay, so you’ve definitely got a lot of repenting to do.”
Inspired by Yom Kippur services in 5778, this poem reflects one writer's view of the most holy day in the Jewish year.
Yom Kippur, 1965, I was a Navy medical officer stationed aboard a destroyer off the coast of Vietnam.
Growing up the child of a Jew-by-choice, everything about Judaism was a choice for us. For my mother, Judaism was a gift. She felt very proud to count herself among the Jewish people. She felt blessed to have the opportunity to do Jewish things.
Recently, I dusted off my shofar and have been brushing up on my shofar-blowing skills to prepare for the upcoming High Holidays.
Around the High Holidays, we may find ourselves remembering loved ones who have died, feeling the emptiness at the holiday table or in the pews during services.