Thursday, September 28, 2006

Days of Awe

The room is vast, but every inch of standing room is packed with people. All are clad in white robes or in dark suites. None have eaten or drunk for the past twenty four hours. Nearly all are standing, ignoring their aching feet and exhausted legs. Each seems lost in their own meditation, and there is only a loose coordination in the rhythmic swaying of the crowd.

Still, the sense of collective focus – of intense concentration – is palatable. Each syllable of the ancient poetry is packed with liturgical references. The gentle, stunning melodies carry the haunting, urgent beauty which fills every word. These words are not being chanted by lips. They are, quite literally, pouring from each heart. The very room seems to tremble with emotion.

And, within each and every heart, in each consciousness, is the passionate yearning to achieve our better self, to connect with our higher purpose, to go beyond what we have become and to mend the faults which have limited us.

I can write much about my issues with the Yom Kippur liturgy and themes. But how can one not be awed by such an experience? And how can one not feel overwhelmed by humanities’ irrepressible quest for greatness?

May each of us, in our own way, strive this year for a more perfect community.

2 Comments:

Blogger Chana said...

What a beautiful post. I'll simply echo you, and agree with your last sentence.

September 29, 2006 4:42 PM  
Blogger Anonymous said...

A good year to you

September 29, 2006 4:44 PM  

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