I started frequenting our library as I have worked to get more self care time in. I decided that reading would be the easiest. It isn't, but I've always loved it and a few extra minutes here and there is great. I went with the intent of finding a book recommended by my synagogue for the High Holy Days. Nearby on the shelf was a Life's Daily Blessings. I felt drawn to it. After flipping through, I found that each day has its own inspiration with a Jewish twist. I read today's, which was on "Sacred Speech". Essentially, G-d can realize all things across time at the same moment, and can connect two people. Words and thoughts are not static. They are not moments in time. We write it down and then the moment is captured permanently. Rabbi Olitzky wrote here "It is the acknowledgement of God's presence... that brings these words to me, that allows me to hear them, that permits them to enter my soul. Otherwise they might just be suspended in time and I would be unable to hear them at all."
In the weeks following Yom Kippur, a passage from the new Reformed siddur is still sitting with me and after reading this I immediately went back to it.
I love the synagogue and community I have found here. I grew up in a beautiful and intimidating conservative shul. I didn't go to Jewish day school and I always felt behind. Although the most spiritual Jew is rarely the one who knows the most about the prayer, I wasn't given the tools to understand the depth and breadth in front on me. The prayer books offered Hebrew and English, and for some important prayers, transliterations. But rarely real-time information on context and depth. You are meant to pray the way that the book says. I understand it and respect it. Heck, it was the only thing I knew for a long time.
The Reform prayer book however offers many tools to allow people to get what they can and want to out of the experience. I appreciate that. And in that spirit, in addition to the normal vidui (a confessional prayer that is one of the hallmarks of Yom Kippur), it included a poem for a personal vidui. I read it last year, but I forgot to go back to it. I didn't need it last year. This year I do. The traditional vidui is a list of actions we admit to God that we have done. The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are marked with apologizing to our fellow (wo)man before apologizing to God. And I like the idea of also apologizing to ourselves and marking a fresh look at self kindness.
I found this here, on Rabbi Barenblat's blog (the author).
Personal Al Chet