Some wise people in this very diverse Jewish community shared these Yom Kippur thoughts; I don’t take any credit, though they resonate with me.
Yom Kippur is a dress rehearsal for our deaths; it challenges us to become better and make a difference working to bring healing to our community and world while we still have breath.
YK is not about begging to be forgiven for the harm we’ve done and the right to stay alive to do better; it’s about choosing. We choose to show up, to live, to not choose death. We will still fuck up and cause harm, being human, but the alternative is worse. We write ourselves into the book of life.
OK, this one’s mine, not profound, but…maybe my symbolic Red Sea crossing into the promised land and a new life is the Mississippi River into STL and freedom. It feels like that: as soon as I crossed over, I felt relief from the oppression and free to move and breathe and be myself.
Fasting is not some kind of religious credential, an end in itself; it’s to be used to become a better human practicing justice and compassion and feeding others in need in our communities.
Finally, “soil” and “soul” not only sound alike; there’s a parallel between plant roots interconnected in an underground network, all working together to heal the ecosystem, and human roots forming connections with the vulnerable in a community, bringing communal healing. I wish I could paraphrase it as well as the originator of this thought, who gets all the credit.
Also, I confess I wasn’t physically present at this service; I watched it livestream, and managed to capture these photos.