I wrote an essay back in 2011 called, I Want To Be Jewish, which still seems to be the case.
I’ll blame it on my lapsed Catholicism that’s left me wandering in the wilderness.
At sundown today Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, begins. It’s their Lent when Jews remember their dead and atone for their sins.
One reason I’d like to be Jewish is because they repent all in one day as opposed to Catholics who flog themselves for six weeks or so giving up things like M&Ms and butter just to make a good impression.
I grew up being taught annually to sacrifice something I loved pre-Easter. That way I could devour my entire basket in one sitting which was kind of what happened. You deny a kid chocolate for that long, all bets are off Easter morning.
This is the real reason for all that adolescent acne. And when my mother would inquire why my big mocha bunny only had one ear, I’d feign ignorance just to be punished till Christmas.
Jews spend one day fasting in Temple gracing benches they pay a fortune for (see, you do get what you pay for). I’m pretty sure by investing in a seat this is why it’s over in twenty-four hours.
No I’m not being irreverent, I think there’s a spot of truth in that.
Why do you think they’re all so successful. It’s because they don’t waste time.
I like watching families, who you know are starving, ambling down the Avenue on their way to Temple Emanuel, the big daddy of synagogues, in navy suits and printed dresses. The older women wear hats to be distinguished from the young.
I love the kids having a great time since they get to eat.
Who said big deal, it’s only for one day? Try it…technically you’re not even supposed to have water let alone a little snack when your stomach, at around one, starts to retaliate.
I’m jealous no one has asked me to stroll along even though I smile and hope they take the hint. Why not bring a Shiksa along, how could it hurt?
There’s a poignancy in the ritual of presenting God with an entire day. I mean it’s the very least one can do when you think about it. Now a month is overdoing it and I’m almost certain he thinks so too.
My friend Amy, who doesn’t formally observe, still goes to Temple to hear the Yizkor read, which means remembrance in Hebrew, when you solemnly recall your beloved dead. I can’t tell you how that moves me…a special prayer for those you love and painfully miss. Amy prays for her parents.
I think we suffer on our own every day. Personal circumstances practically guarantee it. The God of my understanding understands and doesn’t wish to add to our gloom meaning, a day of repentance is quite enough for him which is why my Catholicism is buried in the closet behind an old pair of clogs. If it could, the church would hand out complimentary hair-shirts as you walked in the door…like party favors.
There’s nothing gentle about being Catholic…guilt prevails…original sin lurks. How can a newborn baby at its first cry be a sinner? A concept that has always eluded me.
I’d formally convert to Judaism, but from what I hear those prayers in Hebrew are killers to learn and frankly I’ve just never had an ear.
All kidding aside.
In essence, Yom Kippur is about love and forgiveness, so can you blame me for wanting in?
Gmar Chatimah Tovah
May you be sealed in The Book of Life for a good year.
Let us dream.