October 14, 2005

Yom Kippur Thoughts and Musings

I am still tired from yesterday, or maybe I am tired because I haven't slept much this week. Or perhaps it is a combination of lack of sleep and mental fatigue.

This year I made a real effort to get into davening. For some communicating with G-d is easy, but for me davening can be challenging. On a side note, I have written about this a number of times, but that is the only link that I can find. It irritates me, I have to try harder to categorize things.

What is most challenging about davening is trying to decipher/determine whether my prayers are heard. We live in an era of instant gratification, we want answers now. When my mother first instructed me on how to make a phone call she told me that I should let the telephone ring at least six times so that the person I was calling had time to pick up the phone.

Now if I wait more than three rings to get a person or voicemail I am irritated. It is kind of silly, but it is true. There are many other examples of this, but we'll save those for another time. For now it is enough to say that like so many others I want a definitive answer, even if that answer is "no."

This year was easier and I blame my children for it. Just before I began to read Torah I took a moment to look out on the crowd and I caught my son's eye. The smile on his face lit up the room and I couldn't help but smile back. His excitement just propelled me. To those of you who were there I apologize for the crack in my voice, no water wreaked havoc on a weak voice.

Later on my daughter decided to take a nap on my shoulder. I wrapped her in my tallis and as I davened the Shmoneh Esreh I could feel her breath on my cheek and could hear nothing but her steady breathing. Daddy and twenty-three pounds of baby girl bowed and convened with the heavens. It just made sense and for a brief moment I felt as I was crossing a bridge into a different place and time.

To some of you it may sound silly, but I felt as if I was walking into Jerusalem. I was bound for the Temple and was surrounded by others. My daughter helped me set the tone and then I tried to stay there. I draped my tallis over my head and listened. There was a low roar emanating from the people around me. I felt like we were all pulling for a common cause.

It was special and it was meaningful. It was what it should be.

The holidays are here and I feel settled.

10 comments:

Mirty said...

That's beautiful. Thanks.

Z said...

Very VERY nice. That's how it should be.

Stephen (aka Q) said...

What a beautiful post! Two of the most sublime human experiences, parenting and communing with God, blended together!
Q

Jack's Shack said...

Thank you all for your kind words, I really appreciate them.

LiquiDiamonds said...

amazing Jack! My son observed Yom Kuppur in Amsterdam this year...last year it was in Israel and he was a moved as you seem to have been this year. He desicribed it as awe inspriring - much like you have described it.
In Amsterdam, he found it hard to "concentrate: as you put it, because he had just gotten off plane a few hours before, and the wieght of what he left behind in Iraq was still on his mind. Next year, can he borrow your daughter?? ;)

We have no such tradition or ritual in the Catholic Church, except for self imposed retreats. I am envious of your experience, and what we Christians would call "communion with G-d".

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

That is a wonderful feeling.

I pray quite a bit, sometimes the answer comes quickly and other times I feel the angels are working on it....but having patience is sometimes so difficult.

Thanks for sharing your beautiful experience with me. (smiling)

Anonymous said...

so true and beautiful... it made me cry.

Minor Fast Days said...

Still a inspirational post. I sometimes find it hard to daven without proper intention or knowing if it is being heard.

This year with the excitement of your future son, God-willing, I concentrated with all my might to make sure Hashem heard me.

Shana Tova.

Minor Fast Days said...

I mean our future son

Jack's Shack said...

MFD,

May it be a good year for all of us.