Although we may think time moves in a linear fashion, Jewish holidays insert themselves in unexpected moments and places, seemingly out-of-sync with our expectations.
Yom Kippur, 1965, I was a Navy medical officer stationed aboard a destroyer off the coast of Vietnam.
In the game “Truth-or-Dare,” I choose “truth” nearly every time. I’m not much of a dare-taker. Thus, if you and I were playing “Special Edition Truth-or-Dare: High Holy Days,” I would confess that the prayer Avinu Malkeinu provides me with both my second-favorite liturgical moment and my second-greatest pet peeve of the year’s liturgy. (Note: Even though I may have to repent for it, I will leave you in suspense about my favorite liturgical moment and my greatest liturgical pet peeve. Also, “Special Edition Truth-or-Dare: High Holy Days” is fictional, although I hereby declare copyright in the event Mattel or Hasbro comes knocking at my door.)
The “Days of Awe” is a good name for the High Holiday season because when we are in awe of something, that's a good thing, but I like “Awesome Days” so much better.
As we witness public figures dismantled by the revelation of ugly episodes from their pasts, we parents must distill these events and their aftermath for our children.