Missed the first days of Elul--what is it now, the 4th? So much for my yearly plan to make this year the one when I try to prepare for the Hi-Hos (hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to shul we go) something more than a chore. I do dread them, to be honest; they leave me spiritually cold and logistically frazzled. Here's what I wrote three years ago in a dvar for DePaul's Kol Nidre service:
Three years ago, I decided to stop coming to Yom Kippur services—at least, that is, to the services for adults. This wasn’t just a matter of scheduling or comfort, although I’ll admit that the 90-minute children’s service I took up instead has a good deal to offer on both counts, along with a live performance of the Book of Jonah, complete with a four-foot cardboard fish and a pint-sized female God in a cotton-ball beard. I decided to stop coming because, frankly, I didn’t see the point. When the second intifada broke out, right in the middle of the Days of Awe, the responses I heard to it before Yom Kippur were just the same as those I heard after the holiday. Those who blamed the Palestinians before, blamed them afterwards. Those who blamedThree years and another cruel, pointless war haven't changed my view. But this year is a "Jewish year" chez Selinger, and I'll need to think of some way to deal with these Days of Aw-Shucks standing between me and Sukkot, a holiday I can love.
Israel, blamed . Those who didn’t know what to do, or say, or think, remained confused. For my friends, for “my people” as I saw them on the news, and, most of all, for myself, 25 hours of fasting and prayer hadn’t done a damned thing. At which point, bring on the cotton balls. Israel
More on that, as well as on poetry--and who knows, maybe more of that old dvar, soon. The kids will be up momentarily, and I have pancakes and lunches to prepare. It's the hard-knock life.
Celebrate me home.